On Friday the 1st of December the FIFA World Cup draw took place and everybody is gearing up for the biggest event in international football. Some of the big games coming up at Russia 2018 already have people excited at the anticipation of watching the greatest players on the biggest stage. Neymar, Ronaldo and Messi are all hoping to shine in some of the most exciting games which will take place in Russia next July.
But it isn’t just the big matches drawn at the FIFA World Cup Draw which has had people talking. Twitter blew up on Friday evening with people asking one question – why was Diego Maradona wearing 2 watches at the FIFA World Cup Draw?
The Big FIFA World Cup Draw
All of the biggest names are set to arrive in Russia in the summer of 2018 and, while the first round is perhaps not going to have the biggest games, it will show off the biggest names. Many of the top teams have avoided each other in the first round: Neymar and his Brazilian teammates will take on Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. Messi and his Argentinian teammates will take on Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. But the biggest game in the first round will feature Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portuguese teammates taking on Spain in what will be an incredibly exciting match. Morocco and Iran make up what is probably the “group of death” in the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw.
It’s fair to say that England have managed to come out with the most encouraging draw that they could have hoped for. Belgium, Tunisia and Panama are England’s opponents at Russia 2018 – which many would suspect should lead to England progressing quite comfortably past the first round. Most England fans and pundits do not expect England to go all the way in Russia, but if England manage to have an encouraging start to the competition then there is always a chance of a decent run! Many newspapers have already dubbed Diego Maradona’s involvement in this draw as “the hand of god makes amends” as a nod to one of his controversial goal against England in 1986.
Diego Maradona’s Two Watches
Diego Maradona’s wrist is perhaps most well known for being put to use in the aformentioned “hand of god” goal. While he was undoubtedly one of the greatest players of his generation – if not all time – his career was one filled with controversy. There were controversial incidents which took place both on the pitch and off it, as his involvement with drugs being as linked with his name as his incredible performances. His World Cup exploits perhaps define his career – almost single-handedly winning the World Cup in ’86 (pun absolutely intended!), just coming up short in ’90 and being sent home for failing a drug test in ’94.
While Maradona is treated almost as royalty in Argentina, his life after retiring in 1997 has been just as turbulent and controversial as his career on the pitch. He was addicted to cocaine until 2004 and also suffered from alcohol addiction which he has been clean from since 2007. His weight gain was noticeable after ending his football career, becoming incredibly obese before trimming down after undergoing gastric bypass surgery in 2005. Diego Maradona allegedly owed the Italian government €37 million of unpaid taxes from his time playing in the country. As of 2009 he had only paid €42,000 in cash along with two luxury watches and a set of earrings.He was also very good friends with controversial Cuban leader Final Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. He is known for having a tattoo of Castro on his left leg and of Castro’s second in command during the Cuban revolution Che Guevara on right arm.
Despite his personal troubles since ending his playing career, Maradona is still seen as football royalty and was invited to conduct the FIFA World Cup Draw. Maradona conducted the draw alongside Nikita Simonyan, Gordon Banks, Laurent Blanc, Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Carles Puyol and Diego Forlán. Maradona’s stood out from the rest thanks to his outfit being noticeable for two reasons: firstly – who on earth convinced him to wear that bright yellow bow tie with his black suit! And secondly, why was he wearing two wrist watches?
Well, the reason for wearing two wrist watches was quite ingenius. Apparently, Maradona is used to wearing two wrist watches due to him spending a lot of time travelling around the world. He wears one watch set to the time of the city in which he is staying and one watch set to the time back home in Argentina. While this has often been the only way in which people can keep an eye on two different time zones, there is a solution to that problem that Maradona may not be aware of. There are many new watches which allow you to set two different time zones on the same watch such as the Apple Watch. So if you, like Diego, want to keep an eye on the time back home when you’re travelling the world, this may be a less controversial solution!