At the height of his career Diego Maradona was one of the highest paid athletes in the world, but a life of addiction, legal and financial troubles meant his fortune was severely diminished at the time of his death.
The 60-year-old Argentinian football star, who had been battling health issues, died of a heart attack on Wednesday.
Renowned along with Pele as one of the finest players ever to grace the field, the Argentine World Cup-winning captain had undergone brain surgery this month.
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Maradona will forever be remembered for his “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final in Mexico City, when he pushed the ball into the net.
Minutes later he swerved through the helpless English defenders for a superb second goal, capping a victory that perfectly encapsulated the mixture of brilliant skill and often outrageous behaviour that ran through his life.
He struggled with addiction to cocaine and alcohol and had been plagued by poor health in recent years.
During his career as both a football player and coach, Maradona earned tens of million of dollars through salaries and endorsements with major companies.
He was signed for two world record fees in his career when joining Barcelona and then later Napoli, and was one of the highest paid players in the world.
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The International Business Times reports that Maradona’s deal with Napoli earnt him a salary of $3 million, along with up to $10 million in endorsements.
That combined $13 million would equal more than $26 million in today’s money.
After playing he also managed seven clubs and coached Argentina to the 2010 World Cup with varying success.
One of his final coaching roles was in Mexico, where it was reported he earnt $150,000 a month during the brief 11-month stint.
But despite steering Napoli to two Serie A titles against all odds, and captaining Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, Maradona didn’t die a rich man.
While his career was highly successful, the football legend experienced a range of financial troubles over the year, which saw his fortune take a massive hit.
At the time of his death, Maradona’s net worth was estimated to be around $100,000 ($A135,700), according to Express.co.uk.
The publication claims during his time playing for Napoli between 1984 and 1991 the footballer racked up €37 million ($A59.9 million) in unpaid taxes.
The debt was made public by Italian authorities in 2009, with the majority of the bill made up of €23 million ($A37 million) in fees and interest.
Over the years police seized some of Maradona’s jewellery in order to pay off the debt, which came to about €42,000 ($A68,000), according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Throughout his life Maradona continually claimed he was being unfairly targeted by Italian authorities, even blaming the debt on a Napoli director for failing to inform him of the tax bill during his time playing there.
In 2016, the football star told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that the fine for the tax bill had already been paid in 2003.
“I don’t owe anything. They have been hounding me unfairly over the last 25 years for €40 million with €35 million in fines for an alleged tax violation that every single judge has ruled did not exist,” he told the newspaper.
“I do not want anyone to be in my situation. I do not owe anyone anything. Many people will have to repent for what they have done me because, despite being innocent, they have treated like the worst criminal.”
Despite his claims, Italian authorities insisted he still had tens of millions of dollars left on his bill.
Maradona’s dependency on drugs not only impacted his health, but also his career and financial standing.
In 1991 he was fined $70,000 by Italy’s soccer tribunal for missing games with Napoli, with his club also suing him for allegedly tarnishing its reputation due to his drug use.
In 2014 Maradona told Argentina’s Tyc Sports: “I gave my opponents a big advantage due to my illness. Do you know the player I could have been if I hadn’t taken drugs?”
“I am 53 going on 78 because my life hasn’t been normal. I’ve lived 80 [years] with the life I’ve gone through.”