On Flashback Fridays I reflect back on some of my past travels and travel mishaps before I started this blog: Follow at #FlashbackFri.
Argentina has two national heroes: Eva Peron and Diego Maradona. Maradona in particular is treated like a god in the colourful Buenos Aires neighbourhood of La Boca. It was in La Boca where his football career kicked off while he was playing for the Boca Juniors football club.

la boca

boca juniors stadium buenos aires

Boca Juniors stadium

boca juniors stadium buenos aires 2When we walked around this beautiful neighbourhood we couldn’t help but notice that there were images and statues of this guy everywhere. And when I say everywhere I mean EVERYWHERE: in shops, on balconies and on walls. Maradona seemed to be omnipresent.

maradona statue la bocamaradona mural la bocamaradonna staue la boca 2maradonna staue la boca 3This was of course much to the disgust of Chris, who as a Brit, still hasn’t gotten over this whole hand of god incident during the 1986 World Cup. For those of you who are not familiar with this story Argentina beat England in this World Cup quarter final due to one of the most controversial goals in football history (the most controversial one in my opinion is of course the one when England beat Germany in the 1966 World Cup final through a ‘goal’ during which the ball fell on the line, but definitely not over). Chris and I can argue about this for hours.

Anyway, what happened during the Argentina/England quarter final was that Maradona hit an incoming ball into the net with his fist, before the English goalkeeper could get to it. It was a clear handball, but neither the referee nor the linesmen saw the incident so the goal stood. Maradona didn’t even deny the fact that it was a handball and cheekily called it the hand of god after the game. In general Brits like to hold a grudge (as a German who lived in the UK for 8 years I know that all too well πŸ™‚ ), but when it comes to football they really really like to hold a grudge. To this day the Argentinian football team is England’s biggest football enemy (closely followed by Germany of course).

So can you imagine Chris’ reaction when we walked around La Boca and we saw this man that suspiciously looked like England’s and therefore Chris’ arch enemy? At first we weren’t really sure if it was Maradona, but he was the same height, had the same stature and he had an 80ies style mullet. He was even wearing a football shirt. It must be him! Mentally Chris had already prepared his speech outlining his disgust about the 1986 incident, but then we found out that it was in fact NOT Maradona. It was just a doppelganger. So what gave him away? Some tourists asked him if they can take a photo of him and he wanted to charge them money to do so! Even Maradona wouldn’t do that.

maradona doppelganger

Would you have fallen for this doppelganger?

So this is the time I thought I met Maradona, but actually didn’t. Have you ever met a celebrity during your travels? Tell me in the comment section below.

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About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

20 Thoughts on “Flashback Friday: The day I met Diego Maradona

  1. haha saw probably the same doppelganger! He seriously came to me and said: I’m Diego Maradonna, do you want to take a photo with me? πŸ˜›
    Stef recently posted…Bi-weekly Travel Inspiration #6My Profile

  2. I have been in the same room as some famous people and met one or two but they were all accidents to say the least. Its funny because the whole time reading I am like watch ends up being someone who just looked like him or something. That guys looks like a football that stopped working out and just started eating. The mullet is classic!
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    • Tammyonthemove on August 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm said:

      Yeah he so looked like an ex footballer (i.e. overweight). And that mullet-it had to be him. Oh well, maybe next time… πŸ™‚

  3. That’s brilliant! He really does look like him! Love all the colourful buildings, statues and murals!
    Helen recently posted…Teaching in China – Dodging Bikes & Getting Lost in TranslationMy Profile

  4. We’d heard of the impersonator before, so he wouldn’t have fooled us. We’d love to go to a Boca game. Against River Plate would be amazing. The club of the people vs the pijos (snobs).
    Gran Canaria Local recently posted…TasarticoMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on August 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm said:

      Me too! Unfortunately there wasn’t a game on when we went, but we went to Brazil afterwards and managed to watch a derby in the MaracanΓ£ stadium in Rio, which was also amazing!

  5. I love doppelgangers! So cool, esp famous ones
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    • Tammyonthemove on August 22, 2013 at 11:58 am said:

      Me too! This guy was hilarious and apparently he is still doing his little trick now. Must be making decent money with it. πŸ™‚

  6. Ahahahah, what a funny story. The guy really looked like Maradona!

  7. You’re so funny with your doppelganger stories! And I’m lmao at his ’80s mullet. Geez! I’ve seen a few celebrities on flights to/from L.A. before, but that’s not unusual here.
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    • Tammyonthemove on August 23, 2013 at 8:19 am said:

      That mullet is just so stereotypical, but a classic. I am not surprised he chose that as his hairstyle Dana! πŸ˜‰

  8. That guy did look like Maradona though. We never met a celebrity during our travels, not yet. It would have been interesting to know the story if that man was the real Maradona and Chris managed to do his mentally prepared speech πŸ™‚
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    • Tammyonthemove on August 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm said:

      Yeah, I think he should have delivered his speech anyway. That would have been funny. Rather than charging money for photos, he would have probably given Chris money to go away. πŸ˜‰

  9. Nice post!! I really thought it was going to be the real Maradona! I met a fake one too when I was out in Buenos Aires a few years back. Jonny
    Jonny Blair recently posted…World Travellers: Will Peach From The Gonzo TravellerMy Profile

  10. Haha. Your story is hilarious. I once met supermodel Patricia Velasquez eating at a restaurant in front of the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. I overheard her speaking Spanish and started a conversation. She gave me her number and invited me to be an extra at the Mummy 2. She was there on a weekend trip vacationing from filming the movie in London. I was 13 years old and the luckiest boy ever. Once I got to London I couldn’t find her number – my world was shattered :O
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