Diego Maradona or Pele? The age old question, to which the answer is Lionel Messi.
It’s a simple one for us. Sure, Pele won three World Cups and scored thousands of goals against Brazilian farmers*.
But he didn’t inspire fashion trends decades before hypebeasts queued up for days to spend their parents’ pocket money on oversized gilets and undersized fanny packs.
*We’re joking. It was way less than 1,000 goals and most of the opposition wouldn’t have been fit enough to farm
No, for that you need to pay a visit to the Church of Diego.
Maradona terrorised defences for 21 years before heading on a world tour of carnage accompanied with nothing but a big (massive) bag of salt. He’s a sucker for seasoning.
Books have been written about his ability on and off the pitch. But Maradona hasn’t received the credit he deserves for being a bona fide fashion icon. Until now.
Forget Kanye West. Forget Kim Kardashian. Maradona is the influencer to rule all influencers, and not once was he forced to advertise teeth whitening kits.
Let’s start with Maradona’s hat game, because nowadays a five panel is an essential part of any self-respecting style guru’s wardrobe.
Diego was an early adopter, whether dressing smart or casual.
Wearing a suit? He’s got a hat for that. Speaking to the press? He’s got a hat for that. Heading out on a 36-hour bender? Probably best to chuck on a hat and stay incognito.
He had no qualms with wearing a cowboy hat either. The man’s life is one constant rodeo.
Maradona’s hat game was so strong that he was able to fashion a head-warmer out of a pair of tights, if necessary. Granted, that made him look like a spare part in Aladin. Maybe that was the aim. You never know with Diego.
All of us own a ‘wavey shirt’. Maybe you bought it off waveygarms.com as an ironic joke. Maybe you were dragged to a Hawaiian party once. Maybe you’re just a dickhead.
Long before ‘wavey shirts’ were a thing, Maradona was just a guy having fun in an eccentric button-up. Practical, as well as fashionable, given the amount of time he spent in stuffy court rooms.
He was even known to wear a novelty tie from time to time. The type your dad would actually quite like.
Sure, sometimes he looked like a darts player- BDO rather than PDC. But he rocked it with charisma and panache. And that’s all you can ask for, really.
These days fits are big business.
Tracksuits are essential whether you’re featuring on Skepta’s latest track or popping out to Roka for some black cod after a long day trading Bitcoins and Rare Pepes.
Diego mastered the art of the tracksuit long before Cheeky Nando’s lads set about ruining them.
What do Zayn Malik, Pete Davidson and Justin Bieber have in common? They’re all shamelessly copying Our Diego.
Dyed blonde hair isn’t a Noughties thing. It’s not a millennial phenomenon. Nope, Diego has long been the king of frosted tips.
Diego’s never been afraid to experiment. Any teenager who’s accidentally dyed their hair ginger has a lot to thank the big man for.
After nine too many the night before, Maradona was always sure to face the media glare wearing a pair of shades.
Everyone needs a trusty pair of sunglasses for blocking out the haters (Pele) and hiding your sins (too many to mention, many of which were made at the 2018 World Cup).
If he could have worn shades while playing he would have done. And he would have looked sensational.
Everywhere you went last summer, whether popping down to Tesco or packed into a pub that made the London Underground at peak hours look vacuous, you were bombarded with England fans in retro kits. Who started this trend? You shouldn’t need to ask.
Diego’s been wearing retro England gear since David Beckham’s voice broke. Actually, probably best to scrap that one.
We’d go as far to say Maradona is the best player ever to pull on an England shirt. Sorry, Zac Knight.
Anthony Joshua has made boxing sexy again. He’s turned the sport of knocking people out into something your mum quite wants to watch, as long as he doesn’t get hurt.
Twenty years earlier, Diego was doing exactly the same, although his 6-9 record isn’t quite as emphatic as AJ’s.
To be fair, Diego had no formal training. His boxing skills were crafted in the nightclubs of Buenos Aires and honed on the pitches of Barcelona.
But, for Diego’s finest gift to fashion, you need to turn the clocks back to 2010. Maradona had somehow found himself managing Lionel Messi and co at the 2010 World Cup.
He needed to make a statement. He needed fans and players alike to take him seriously. Obviously there was only one way of doing that.
Thus, the iconic ‘Two Watch Maradona’ was born. Oh Diego, you spoil us.
READ MORE FROM THE WORLD OF DREAM TEAM:
- Fulham’s dream promotion has fast unravelled into a Premier League nightmare
- Arsenal have uncovered the next N’Golo Kante and they’ve needed him for years
- Xherdan Shaqiri won’t play against Red Star Belgrade and politics will never be separate from sport
WATCH: LOVE OF THE GAME – EPISODE 2