In Spain '82 Diego Maradona enlightened us with a preview of what he would go on to become. His virtuous display against Hungary was the highlight of Argentina’s first group phase performance, with two goals scored in a 4-1 win, but for the most part this was a tournament at which Maradona was targeted like never before. His reputation as the potential star man had preceded him, and the opposition treated him horrendously.


After being kicked about constantly by Italy – and Claudio Gentile in particular – Maradona was given similar treatment by Brazil, with one foul by Junior leaving everyone incredulous, particularly after the referee only awarded a corner. With five minutes to go and Argentina 3-0 down, Diego had had enough. Joao Batista had just clattered Juan Barbas with a high boot and Maradona exacted his own retribution, kicking Batista in the midriff and immediately being shown the red card as a result. He was the world’s greatest player, but referees had not protected him.


This is the actual jersey that Diego Maradona wore as a World Cup rookie for Argentina during their 1982 World Cup match vs Italy on 26 June 1982 at the Sarria Stadium in Barcelona for the Second Stage Group C, on what was known as the 'Original and harshest Group of Death.'
Title holders Argentina, three-times champions Brazil and the eventual winners Italy battled in Barcelona for a place in the '82 World Cup semi-finals.