Maradona Plays Minimax

12 Pages Posted: 10 May 2021

See all articles by Ignacio Palacios-Huerta

Ignacio Palacios-Huerta

London School of Economics; Ikerbasque Foundation UPV/EHU

Date Written: May 7, 2021


This paper tests the theory of mixed strategy equilibrium using Maradona's penalty kicks during his lifetime professional career. The results are remarkably consistent with equilibrium play in every respect: (i) Maradona's scoring probabilities are statistically identical across strategies; (ii) His choices are serially independent. These results show that Maradona's behavior is consistent with Nash's predictions, specifically with both implications of von Neumann's Minimax Theorem.

Keywords: Mixed Strategies, Minimax, Nash, von Neumann, Randomization.

JEL Classification: A10, C70, C72.

Suggested Citation

Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio, Maradona Plays Minimax (May 7, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Ignacio Palacios-Huerta (Contact Author)

London School of Economics ( email )

Dept. of Management
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Ikerbasque Foundation UPV/EHU ( email )

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