The God of Maradona.

Dora Longo Bahia. Escalpo Paulista, 2005 Acrylic on wall 210 x 240 cm (approx.)


Maradona carnivalized football and carnivalized himself, making himself the Great Clown, where Clowning is not relegation, on the contrary, it is recognition and absolution of human precariousness

I read many observations about the relationship between Maradona and God. They ranged from the memory of his goal against England, in 1986, “with the hand of God”, to the one that Maradona proved that God can be human, and vice versa. The latter, surreptitiously, brought him closer to Christ, God made man, to Ecce Homo, in the phrase attributed to Pilate in the Gospel of John. Maradona, exuberant, but sacrificed on the altar of fame and, to the delight of his ideological opponents, also on drugs.

None of the comparisons satisfied me. They all missed by miles. Because Maradona's God, if revealed, is pre-Christian. He is Dyonisus, or Bacchus. Mistakenly, this God is associated with the illusion of drunkenness, which is a consumer addiction. Dyonisus's wine is that of lucidity, “in vino veritas”, and his intoxication is that of the theater, the fascination for the illumination of life through the spectacle.

Dyonisus was the God of many names; Bacchus, or Bacchus was one of them, rightly or wrongly associated with the archaic God Iacchus who, as far as is known, or conjectured, was worshiped in a remnant way in the processions that celebrated the Mysteries of Eleusis, one of the oldest rituals of ancient Greece.

There could, in fact, be an archaic connection with the Christ of the Gospels, because the Mysteries of Eleusis departed from agrarian cults prior to ancient Greece, which celebrated the death and rebirth of the forces of nature. Dyonisus himself, it was believed, was born twice, including in his trajectory the overcoming of the stigma of death, like Christ and, in a certain way, the theater itself: the tragic character, when he dies, is reborn on another plane, and forever, because he would be the one who dies in a show to be reborn in another one later on and, like Dracula, suck the blood attention of the spectators given over to the enraptured lucidity of the enlightened passions, a pale mirror in the audience of what divinely happens in the realm of fiction that hallucinates us through some time, to return us more lucid to the plane of “reality”.

So it was with Maradona, who was constantly being born, dying and being reborn, who scored a goal with his hand against the English and another in which he dribbled past the entire England team, including the goalkeeper, and at the same time redeemed his country from defeat and stupidity. of the Malvinas War, provoked by a dictatorship that was dying with no other way out. No entry.

Maradona carnivalized football and carnivalized himself, making himself the Great Clown, where Clowning is not relegation, on the contrary, it is recognition and absolution of human precariousness, it is revenge of real men against false gods with feet of clay , is the granting of dignity to our weakness as humans, recognizing our limits, our quirks, raising us to a condition of lucidity in the face of what we are, ceased to be and want to become: survivors.

Maradona was a survivor. Survivor of poverty, survivor of chemical dependency, survivor of the capitalist deification of his status as a renowned footballer. He denied football as an enrichment for others, he made it a joy for himself and for his people.

Maradona, the God who made life a stadium where he danced and danced forever.

* Flavio Aguiar is a journalist, writer and retired professor of Brazilian literature at USP. Author, among other books, of Chronicles of the world upside down (Boitempo).



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