Former teammates of Diego Maradona gathered on the World Cup in Qatar on Friday to pay tribute to the icon on the second anniversary of his demise, reminiscing about brighter days as Argentina get well from their stinging upset by Saudi Arabia.
Thought-about one of many biggest gamers in historical past, Maradona died aged 60 on Nov. 25, 2020, after battling drug and alcohol abuse for years.
Regardless of his passing, Maradona stays very a lot current within the minds of Argentina followers. Scores nonetheless put on his shirt, sing about his “Hand of God” objective towards England within the quarterfinals of the 1986 World Cup and furiously debate whether or not comparisons to Lionel Messi are applicable.
On the CONMEBOL Tree of Goals in central Doha, an space celebrating South American soccer, FIFA president Gianni Infantino greeted former teammates of Maradona, who took turns describing his greatness on and off the pitch.
“We don’t only need to pay tribute but to celebrate Diego,” Infantino mentioned. “I would like there to be a day to celebrate Diego Armando Maradona at every World Cup in the future.”
Richard Giusti, who performed with Maradona on the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, mentioned it was unattainable to check him to Messi, who grew to become the primary Argentine to attain at 4 totally different World Cups along with his objective within the 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia.
“We cannot compare them. We cannot say whether one is better than the other,” Giusti mentioned. “They are different. They are both geniuses. And Argentinian. We have to enjoy it.”
Messi, probably in his remaining World Cup at 35, scored from the penalty spot within the Saudi Arabia defeat. The Argentina captain described the upset as an enormous blow and mentioned they might regroup for his or her Group C match towards Mexico on Saturday.
Jorge Burruchaga, who scored the winner within the 1986 World Cup remaining, mentioned Argentina had no room for error of their subsequent fixtures.
“Hopefully tomorrow Leo will have the game that everyone wants,” he instructed Reuters. “And the tribute we are paying to Diego today, that’s the least we can do for a football genius, for someone who touched so many people.”