It is not a church, but almost. Its layout is typical of a religious temple and those who visit it understand it. In there, in front of the benches that allow the public to enter to contemplate and, why not?, Pray, instead of a cross there is a huge painting of D10S. One that became a myth for treating the ball like no other ever did. One that watered the Argentine soil with glory and transcended the borders to be a legend in every corner of the universe.
It is November 25 and the Diego Armando Maradona Shrine emanates a special vibe. It rains and the breeze bothers. The date, of course, has a lot to do with it. 365 days ago, the greatest of all time passed into eternity unexpectedly and wrapped in a noisy context that to this day is still under the magnifying glass of Justice.
THE DIEGO ARMANDO MARADONA SANCTUARY
On the first anniversary of Pelusa’s death, Olé visited a corner of Maradona that, it must be said, is truly unique. Located in Boyacá at 2145 (the Argentinos Juniors court), the aforementioned Sanctuary, which has at its entrance a gigantic mural of Diego with his parents, receives hundreds of offerings from those who, between joy and nostalgia, come to pay tribute to Diego.
The entrance to the Sanctuary of Maradona. Photo: Guillermo Rodriguez Adami – FTP CLARIN GRA_3325.jpg Z
Incalculable the quantity, amazing the variety. Soccer balls and jerseys, from all clubs, everywhere. Ankle boots, chinstraps, flowers, cards, trophies, pictures with the English goal and flags complete the scene. Without knowing the context, one might well believe that it is the cult of a pagan saint. Maybe it is. Or maybe it’s more than that.
Diego Armando Maradona Shrine.
The fans who get close enter in silence, with tranquility. They take photos and add offerings. Journalists do their job. Everyone, even those in charge of organizing on site, they are seen moved, full of respect and admiration.
Diego Armando Maradona Shrine. Photo: Guillermo Rodriguez Adami – FTP CLARIN GRA_3225.jpg Z
However, the most striking thing is in the front. Yes, just where the banks end, below the aforementioned image that portrays a young Diego, in his early days in Argentinos. There, a Virgin, stamps and a collection of rosaries like the ones he used to wear. “Patron of Glory”, expresses one of the many phrases.
The Diego Armando Maradona Shrine at the Argentinos Juniors stadium.
The place will remain open, like every week, throughout the day. And the town will surely continue to pass through there. His town. The one that will not only remember Maradona every November 25. The one that will not limit itself to bringing you gifts on significant dates. The one who feels it alive and will transmit his legacy that, like the idol, will be eternal.
SPECIAL: 1X1 OF THE LINK OF MARADONA WITH EACH ARGENTINE PROVINCE
Diego Maradona belongs to the world, that is clear, but he is much more ours. Argentine even to go to the bathroom, as he once said to defend Messi. In every place where he passed playing football, he created a myth and left an indelible mark on the lives of those who could be close to him even for a little while. For this reason, in every corner of the country there is a Maradonian story to tell. Click here and meet some of them.