Following Argentina's capitulation to Germany in the World Cup quarter-final, Maradona declared that he now had the strength to quit a destructive football habit and resume his cocaine career.
The career of a professional cocaine user can be a short but exciting one – the fast-talking nonsense, the nose-bleeds, the vast sums of money involved. But what does a 'cainer do once he gets to the end of the white line? And can he ever make it back?
Diego Maradona's story is a sad tale of the lengths a man can go to to replace the highs of cocaine. Perhaps his story will serve to warn us all of how a stellar drug-taking career can turn into pathetic existence managing Argentina at the World Cup in a sorry attempt to recapture the rush of being off his tits on Bolivian marching powder.
And perhaps, it can even give us hope, as today he announced his triumphant return to what he does best - full time narcotics.
Born into a poor shantytown on the Southern outskirts of Buenos Aires, Maradona started his nose-candy career in Barcelona in 1983, and was soon spotted by mafia scouts who scooped him up and moved him to struggling Napoli the following year. There Diego enjoyed the exhilarating climb to the pinnacle of European snort.
Adored by his dealers and hangers-on alike, Maradona transformed Napoli from a Classie-A backwater, into an Italian powder-house with a stamina and hunger some believe will never be matched.
Always a controversial figure on the international coke scene, Maradona will be remembered as much for his “bender-of-the-century” as his “nose of God” performance in Mexico, ‘86, but as time went by, more and more fans saw that this seemingly unstoppable phenomenon couldn’t go on forever.
In 1991, he was banned for 15 months, and after attempts in 1994 at a new career in ephedrine, and an unsuccessful cocaine come-back in 1997, Maradona eventually hung up his rolled-up 100-dollar bill and retired.
But what does a celebrated drug-user do to fill the void left by the indescribable highs of world-class blow?
"For me, the cocaine was everything I dreamed of. From when I was a small boy in the barrio, all we wanted was the charlie. Even though we all knew the chances were a million to one, every one of us dreamed of escaping our slums and living by the white line.
"I was the lucky one, and I lived my dream. But when it ended, I didn’t know what to do.
"I had always dabbled in football throughout my cocaine career, but when I retired from drugs I increasingly turned to football to fill the void, but it was never the same. OK, it was great to walk out on the pitch in 2006 at Soccer Aid and feeling that maybe everybody loved me, but it is never the same as being smacked off my nut and knowing that everybody loves me.
"There was always the empty feeling afterwards when the floodlights went out and I was alone again. I even tried to manage the Argentine national team, but the victories, the applause, the happy faces – in the end it meant nothing compared with the white lady.
"And by "white lady", I mean cocaine."
This story has a happy ending, though. Against the odds, Diego was able to quit soccer and look himself in the mirror again. And this time that mirror will be where it should be - on his hotel suite coffee-table with a 2-inch line of white dust on it.