Officially Maradona’s professional affiliation with Puma began in the run up to the 1982 World Cup. The german sportswear giants had bet big on the young phenom who had been tearing it up in Argentina since his debut as a 15 year old six years earlier and offered him a bumper deal to officially wear and endorse the brands iconic Puma King boots for the tournament and beyond.
As business calls go, it was undoubtedly a good one. A strong showing at the world cup was followed by a world record transfer move to Barcelona and then on to Napoli, where he would cement his legacy.
The connection between brand and player was so strong that it would last for the rest of his playing career and seemingly the rest of his life as Maradona continued to frequently appear in public donning the brands attire, with rumours of a lifetime contract having been signed.
In truth though it's hard to argue that in a world without brand and athlete partnerships Diego would have worn anything else. For Maradona there was never another boot. From his earliest days playing at Argentinos Juniors he favoured the iconic Puma kings.
When he announced himself to the world at the 1979 youth World Cup he did it in Puma’s
And when made the now iconic switch from Argentinos Juniors to Boca Juniors the Kings came with him.
View the '50th Birthday Collection' here.
So when Puma came calling in the early summer of 1982 to make the partnership official it was an easy call for Diego. This shared admiration is also the reason why, when it came to the occasion of the great man’s 50th birthday, the brand decided to produce a collection in celebration of a man who had given the company so much over the years. A special ‘Diego’ edition of the Puma Kings were released alongside a special edition bag, football, shirt and jacket.