KEY POINTS

  • Struggling with demons on and off the field, Maradona’s net worth was low.
  • The Hand of God had four World Cup appearances
  • He racked up a multi-million-dollar tax debt.

Diego Maradona, one of soccer’s greatest players, died of a heart attack Wednesday at the age of 60. With a legacy of financial trouble, his net worth was estimated to be as little as $100,000.

The Argentina star left a lasting legacy on the field. "The Hand of God" goal at the 1986 World Cup, which involved him punching the ball into the net, followed minutes later with one of the all-time greatest goals, vaulted the attacking midfielder into sports lore forever. His stardom with Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli made him an international icon.

Beloved and worshipped at home and abroad, Argentina's government has declared a three-day mourning period.

Maradona's goal against England is widely considered one of the best, if not the best, goal of all time Maradona's goal against England is widely considered one of the best, if not the best, goal of all time Photo: AFP / STAFF

But sports legends don't always leave behind great wealth.

Saddled with debt, Maradona is estimated to have a net worth of only $100,000, the Express reported. Celebrity Net Worth estimates that Maradona was worth $500,000.

These numbers can often be very misleading, though Maradona was known to have financial problems. 

He reached the peak of his career playing in Napoli during the mid-1980s, overturning decades of influence from the clubs in northern Italy. He was sued by the Serie A club in the early 1990s for tarnishing its reputations following a heavy bout of cocaine use and was also fined $70,000, reports at the time.

Maradona's abrasive reputation hurt his ability to land endorsements, while Brazil legend Pele had little trouble using his image from the glory years in the 1960s and 1970s to secure deals decades after hanging up his cleats.

GettyImages-1064052248 Diego Maradona of Argentina holds the World Cup trophy after defeating West Germany 3-2 during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Final match at the Azteca Stadium on June 29, 1986 in Mexico City, Mexico. Photo: Photo by Archivo El Grafico/Getty Images

In 2009, Italian authorities said Maradona, who at the time was coaching the Argentina national team, was heavily in debt from his tenure in Napoli. During treatment in Italy for stress and weight problems, he handed over valuable goods, including a $10,000 pair of earrings, to help settle his debts. Tax police three years earlier where ordered to seize anything of value “within plain sight,” the BBC reported.

The Express noted Maradona racked up an estimated $44 million in unpaid taxes, much of which remained unpaid at the time of his death.

His high-spending ways hurt what was otherwise a long career. His club career spanned from 1976 to 1997. He debuted with Argentina in 1977 and ended in 1994.

Maradona's deal with Napoli in 1990 was a big source of his wealth. He reportedly drew a $3 million salary to go along with another $8 million to $10 million in endorsements. Adjusted for inflation, the possible $13 million total from 1990 would be equal to over $26.5 million in November 2020.

He also managed seven clubs and served as the head coach of Argentina. It's unclear how much Maradona earned as a manager, due to contract specifics. Most of his coaching jobs were brief stints. 

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona (R) and his doctor Leopoldo Luque are pictured in Olivos, Argentina on November 11, 2020
Maradona is expected to leave hospital on Wednesday, eight days after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain Argentine football legend Diego Maradona (R) and his doctor Leopoldo Luque are pictured in Olivos, Argentina on November 11, 2020 Maradona is expected to leave hospital on Wednesday, eight days after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain. Photo: Diego Maradona press office / -