THE ARGENTINIAN HERO

Throughout Argentinian history, it is clear that national celebrities are not only praised for their excellence in their specific field, but also often worshipped in other realms of life. This is noticeable with such figures as Eva Peron, who was not merely known as the wife of Argentine President Juan Peron, but also as an admired and revered character to citizens of the country (Adams 1993, p. 14). This is similarly the case with Maradona, who is seen as a celebrity both on and off the pitch. According to Brach, it is not only his football skills but also his cultural and popular perception that has determined his popularity (2012, p. 416). The Argentinian admiration of Maradona, as well as many more of their heroes, has to do with his humble origins, and his representation of a true Argentinian identity (Bilbija 1995). As stated by Soriano, Maradona was a hero who “did everything in reverse: he did not marry a princess, nor did he bow in front of the powerful; neither did he open the bank with the money he earned” (1994, p. 122). This is a quality that is much admired by Argentinians and is a shared trait among their many heroes and celebrities.

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