Diego Maradona lives as hard as he played and the former Argentine international was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Cantegril Hospital in Punta del Este, Uruguay on this day in soccer history on January 4, 2000.
The reason stated was for high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat but rumors swirled that it was related to his past drug use. The then 39-year-old had a history of drug abuse but neither his manager Guillermo Coppola nor hospital director Waldemar Correa would say there was any connection, the former saying it played no part.
Maradona carried Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title. He battle drugs as much as defenders and served a 15-month suspension from the Italian Serie A in 1991 and was suspended a 2nd time after testing positive for ephedrine during the 1994 World Cup in the United States. He retired in 1997 with Argentine club Boca Juniors.
Soccer Birthdays on January 4
1953 – Norberto Alonso, Argentine footballer
1969 – Kees van Wonderen, Dutch soccer player (NEC/NAC)
1980 – Miguel Monteiro, Portuguese footballer
1982 – Paulo Ferrari, Argentinian footballer
1982 – Richard Logan, English footballer
1986 – James Milner, English footballer
1990 – Toni Kroos, German footballer
January 4 Soccer Deaths
2007 – Sandro Salvadore, Italian footballer (b. 1939)
Shop for Argentina National Team Gear at World Soccer Shop