To many in Argentina, their greatest sportsperson is Diego Maradona. But his genius of course came with complexity and flaws. For others, Luciana Aymar is considered ‘the greatest’. As charismatic and electric on the field as her footballing compatriot, she managed to avoid some of the pitfalls along the way.
Known as ‘La Maga’ (The Magician), Aymar’s dribbling skills and flair on the pitch earned her a remarkable eight World Player of the Year awards and such was her popularity at home, she was chosen to carry the Argentine flag into the Opening Ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
And now, after retirement from the game she is one of the newest Laureus Academy Members – an honour she gladly accepted.
“It’s a huge honour for me – and also for my sport,” she said. “Hockey is popular in Argentina, but it’s not so well-known everywhere, so for me and for the sport, it’s amazing.”
Aymar was inducted alongside former swimmer Missy Franklin and golfer Lorena Ochoa and all three hit the heights of their respective sports. Aymar is very clear on what was the secret of her success.
“I think maybe I am a little bit crazy!” she admits. “It wasn’t my ambition to become the best in the world, I only wanted to be the best I could be and I practiced hard. I had great coaches and they said if you want to be the best you have to train more than anyone else. So I did. And then when I won something, I wanted the next thing.”
And now she’s part of the Laureus World Sports Academy, she is looking forward to being part of the Laureus family and supporting the work of Sport for Good.
“Sport has changed my world. It gave me values and I’m so happy there are young girls who want to play hockey in Argentina because of what I achieved. I can’t wait to get started and work with Laureus and use sport to help others.”