World Cup’s 101 Most Memorable Moments: Maradona’s inglorious goodbye


By Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports Soccer Writer

Editor’s note: Each day between now and the kickoff of the first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 20, we’ll unveil a different memory from World Cup history. The countdown from 101 continues with Maradona’s unceremonious World Cup farewell.

The 1994 World Cup in the United States was supposed to provide the stage for one of the greatest players of all time, Argentina’s Diego Maradona, to have a fitting swansong.

It was to be the  fourth and final trip to the planet’s greatest sporting event for Maradona, then 33. After almost single-handedly — literally — leading the Albiceleste to the 1986 title in Mexico and then to a runner-up finish four years later in Italy, he and all of Argentina had dreams of going out on top. 

Instead, those dreams turned into a nightmare. It started out well enough. Maradona scored a beautiful capper in a 4-0 rout of Greece in the group stage opener. But after a 2-1 win over Nigeria in their second game, FIFA announced that Maradona had been kicked out of the tournament after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. He never played for his country again — a shameful end to one of the greatest international careers of all time.

Maradona sent packing

It was supposed to be Diego Maradona’s redemption tour, but he was booted from the world cup for PEDs.

One of the leading soccer journalists in North America, Doug McIntyre has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

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