Diego Maradona joined Barcelona from Boca Juniors after spending just a year with the Argentine club. His arrival to Barcelona cost the club a world-record fee at the time, a deal worth £5 million.
Maradona was, however, sold to Napoli only a couple of years later for a fee of £6.9 million, another world record fee. The President of the Blaugrana at the time, Josep Lluis Nunez has detailed the reasons as to why Maradona was sold:
“I had a complaint from the police, who came and told me to be very careful with the issue [of Maradona using drugs],” Nunez told TV3 in quotes carried by Mundo Deportivo.
“I spoke with Maradona, who said no, it wasn’t true. At least that’s what he told me. Barcelona has to have players with a refined image, who are not seeking conflict and benefit the club’s image.”
“What I have never understood is a player who leaves Barcelona because he has a better contract but says that it’s the fault of the president,” he said.
“It’s easy to explain the truth to fans, that, as a professional, you have to take advantage of a better offer because your career is short. I have not yet met a player who says he is leaving Barcelona because he has a better contract elsewhere.”
The main reasons why Nunez sold Maradona to the Partenopei was because of money, and Maradona’s drug problem. The President at the time did not believe that Maradona upheld the image that he thought Barcelona players should carry.
Diego Maradona left for south Italy in 1984, and a couple of years ago, almost won the FIFA World Cup single handedly whilst scoring two of the most prolific goals in the history of the sport in the process.
Maradona passed away on 25th November, succumbing to a cardiac arrest after a series of health issues.