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On June 4, 1982, nine days before the start of the World Cup held in Spain, Diego Armando Maradona became a new Barça player, joining from Boca Juniors. With the No.10 on his back, he spent two seasons at the club, playing 58 official matches and scoring 38 goals. That figure would surely have increased were it not for the injuries that made his stay at the club a bittersweet one.
A complicated signing
The incorporation of Maradona by Barça was difficult. Four years earlier, the then president of the club, Josep Lluís Núñez, tried to sign him. Two years later, the blaugrana returned, but the Argentine Football Association (AFA) closed all possibilities to a transfer until Maradona had played the 1982 World Cup with his team. A few days before the start of the World Cup, Barça closed the deal for 1,200 million pesetas (7.2 million euros), a record figure at that time. Along with Kubala, Cruyff, Ronaldinho and Messi, he is one of the best players to ever wear the Barça shirt.
The arrival of a world star
At just 21 years old, Maradona was already considered a world star and his arrival in Barcelona caused great expectations. The Argentine was part of an extraordinary squad with Julio Alberto, Alexanko, Migueli, Schuster, 'Lobo' Carrasco and Quini, among many others. A generation of players who, during the two seasons in which Maradona wore the Barça shirt, won three titles: a Copa del Rey, a League Cup and a Spanish Super Cup. Maradona scored 38 goals (22 in the league, eight in the European Cup Winners' Cup, four in the Copa del Rey and four more) in 58 official matches. Some of them, such as the one he scored against Red Star in the 1982/83 European Cup Winners' Cup, or the one that at the Santiago Bernabéu in the 1982/83 League Cup, which caused applause from the Los Blancos fans, are still fondly remembered.
Injuries: a negative footnote
Maradona's time at Barça was marked, unfortunately, by injuries. In his first campaign, 1982/83, he suffered from hepatitis that kept him out for three months. In his second, and last, season, a serious injury to his left ankle on the fourth day of the league campaign, also saw him sidelined for three months. These two obstacles prevented Barça fans from enjoying his prodigious left foot, his change of pace, speed and dribbling.
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