The "Church of Maradona" worships Diego Armando Maradona, one of the best soccer players of all times, as a god. Maradona is an Argentinian soccer player who retired a long time ago, but for some of his fans he is literally a god. His followers worship him not as a prophet or the reincarnation of some deity but as D10S, a Spanish word "dios" for "god" that incorporates Maradona's jersey number. All of this should not surprise you because soccer is perhaps the "religion" with the greatest numbers of followers around the word, and if soccer is "religion" then Maradona is its god.
Alejandro Veron and Hernan Amez, two journalists who host a radio talk show about soccer, founded The Church of Maradona which operates primarily through the internet. Members repeatedly share Maradona's memorable quotes, photos, memories, and videos of his best goals and plays, and the Church uses religious language to express a deep devotion to the Argentinian sportsman.
The main belief is that Diego Armando Maradona performed miracles on the field that were so godlike that no mortal has the right to judge him. The religion even has its own scripture and Ten Commandments, “Spread the news of Diego's miracles throughout the universe” and “Love football above all else," for example.
Besides their work to spread Maradona's religion online, Veron and Amez organize meetups in Rosario, Argentina, where followers meet for "mass." Mostly men age from 15 to 70 years old gather on this meetups to practice religion with different "relics" all around them: posters of Diego at various stages in his 21-year career, a replica of the World Cup trophy, and biographies they consider sacred to the doctrine.
As Vice.com reports, one member of the church, Walter Rotundo, baptized his five-year-old twin girls in the Church of Maradona, Mara and Dona. Each girl has an Argentina team jersey with their name on their respective back—Diego himself sent them from the United Arab Emirates. While Maradona doesn’t attend this church, he understands the fervor that he evokes in his fans.
It looks like Maradona's goal in 1986 World Cup quarter-final against England, later called the Hand of god, has been taken really seriously by Maradona's fans. Maradona was, undoubtedly, one of the greatest soccer players of all times, and one thing that made him special was the passion shared among his fans. The passion he created and shared while playing continued to evolve and became a "religion" itself.
Photo Credits: Hollywood Reporter