At the end of 1980, River Plate had the money on the table to hire Diego Maradona.
But 10, as always, dribbled to fate.
"I'm not going to sign because Boca called me," Maradona told a journalist friend and launched his own operation.
It was a lie, but the news made Boca Juniors collect coins to take the idol.
With the dream fulfilled, Maradona took the opportunity to mark another: with the first salaries of the transfer he took his parents out of Villa Fiorito, the cradle of land where he was born, and bought them a house in Villa Devoto, a wealthy neighborhood in Buenos Aires.
Emiliano Martínez, Cristian Romero, Otamendi, Nahuel Molina (Juan Foyth, min. 85), Tagliafico, Paredes (Lisandro Martínez, min. 61), Alexis Mac Allister (Correa, min. 85), Enzo Jeremias Fernandez, De Paul (Exequiel Palacios, min. 73), Messi and Julián Álvarez (Paulo Dybala, min. 73)
Dominik Livakovic, Borna Sosa (Mislav Orsic, min. 45), Gvardiol, Juranovic, Lovren, Brozovic (Petkovic, min. 49), Kovacic, Modric (Lovro Majer, min. 80), Kramaric (Livaja, min. 71), Pasalic (Nikola Vlasic, min. 45) and Perisic
33: Messi (p).
38: Julian Alvarez.
68: Julian Alvarez.
Yellow cards Kovacic (min. 31), Dominik Livakovic (min. 31), Cristian Romero (min. 67) and Otamendi (min. 70)
After his death in November 2020, the house went up for auction and found no buyer until last month.
Three brothers were encouraged to raise the money and these days they opened Maradona's mansion so that the neighbors could watch the World Cup matches.
Buyers prefer not to reveal his name.
The amount of the transaction is a mystery.
But these days, while Lionel Messi led his team to the World Cup final, the doors of all his rooms were open.
People gathered on Tuesday to see on a screen placed in the garden, next to the pool where Maradona held the cup in the 86 World Cup, how the team reached another final, the sixth in its history.
People arrive at the house that Maradona bought for his parents in Villa Devoto to watch the semifinal this Tuesday. ENRIQUE GARCIA MEDINA
The number 4575 of José Luis Cantilo street, a three-story house, was never a secret address.
Legend has it that the children of the neighborhood still came to ring the bell in the hope that Maradona would come out to sign photos for them.
Even when Maradona had already moved a few steps north, in the also famous corner of Segurola and Havana streets.
Sofia is seven years old and has been a couple of decades late for an autograph.
But this Tuesday, a few hours before Argentina thrashed Croatia to get into the final, she said that Maradona is his favorite player, even before Messi, and that visiting his house is a dream.
Resting her chin on one of the balconies on the second floor of the Cantilo mansion, Sofía let her mother speak.
"Diego is everything," says Patricia Bardagi, that she will see the game at her house a few streets up, but she wanted to bring her daughter to see the idol's mansion.
“We came because we saw that people came together to celebrate the games.
We don't know anyone here, but they let us in without asking.”
– A forecast for today?
– We won it three to one.
Enough of mufas, enough of taking care of us.
We deserve this World Cup and a joy.
I'm not afraid to say it.
In the patio, next to the pool, those gathered get excited seconds before the referee calls the penalty on Julián Álvarez.ENRIQUE GARCIA MEDINA
His prognosis fell short.
Argentina ended up beating Croatia 3-0 and the party at the home of Don Diego and La Tota, Maradona's parents, started early.
A barbecue man distributed 150 kilos of minced meat in bread.
's percussion band
, the Boca Juniors' barra brava, played in the sun throughout the game.
There was no alcohol, and from the smallest child to the rudest in charge of the drums they had to choose between water or soda.
By the time Julián Álvarez scored the third at the start of the second half, about 10 children were splashing in the pool, oblivious to the music, the smoke bombs and the three screens spread between the garden and the main hall.
The house had been opened for the first time during the first phase match against Poland and overflowed with neighbors in the round of 16 against Australia.
Since then, there is a guard at the door and you have to know someone to enter.
Ariel Felipoff, who doesn't know who the owners are, entered because he didn't miss any game.
“It is a dream to see him here.
We came to celebrate the first one and since then we have not been missing, ”he says.
The cabal of returning served even the neighbors who this time stayed outside.
While inside a hundred people sing "this is for Diego, who looks at him from heaven", another ten people celebrate at the door.
“We are finalists again,” says an excited neighbor.
"This World Cup is ours, even if Morocco ends up winning it."
The people who went to see the game at Maradona's old house celebrate the triumph of the albiceleste team.ENRIQUE GARCIA MEDINA
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