Diego Armando Maradona – the name does not require any further descriptions to explain who he is and what had been his achievements as a footballer. Since Pele and Garrincha, no other footballer in the world could ever have such a huge impact. He was a genius. He was a villain. He was a God gifted. For many in Naples, he is still God.
Napoli had been the club where Maradona flourished as the ultimate legend. Until his arrival at Naples, Maradona was regarded as a unique talent, who was yet to come of age.
Before he arrived in Napoli, Maradona spent a brief period in Spain, and even after leaving Naples, he returned to the same country.
Maradona started his LaLiga journey in 1982 when Barcelona paid 1.2 billion pesetas to bring him over from Boca Juniors.
A decade later, Maradona was back in Spain as Sevilla spent 750 million pesetas to sign him from Napoli.
In the Spanish outlet, Marca, former Spanish players shared their experience while playing with Maradona.
Marcos Alonso – former right-winger, Barcelona
He’s the best that I’ve come across in football.
He was the best of his generation by a long way.
The first day he arrived in the dressing room, he picked up some rolled-up socks and started to do, oh I don’t know, a thousand keepy-uppies or more and we thought if he can do that with some socks…
He was different from everyone else. He set off at 200 miles per hour and stopped in a meter. He did things that others couldn’t do. I never saw him play a pass with his right foot.
Individually, he was the best.
He had such a low center of gravity that you couldn’t knock him off the ball, he’d do a quick turn and run away, and boy could he strike a ball… it was an immense pleasure to play alongside him.
Maradona’s style of training was unique too.
He would say: ‘You see that speck in the goal? I’m going to put the ball there’, and he did. Exquisite!
Victor Munoz – former midfielder, Barcelona
He did incredible things [in training]. He protected the ball, he could control any round object, he had a sharp turn of pace to then cut back, shoot, he knew how to get out of tight spaces.
Technically, he was unbeatable.
He had brilliant moments and then the disaster of the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club. It was the ugliest moment.
The aggressiveness that was shown towards him was terrible.
He was a brave player, who played every game to the full. Now, it would’ve ended five against five.
Rafa Paz – former midfielder, Sevilla
Technical concepts, class, he had a special gift.
You could tell he was from street football. He did keepy-uppies with a ball of tinfoil. He made a brick look round.
He was from a pasture, from the street, for the way he was and the way he played.
Minchi – former goalkeeper, Sevilla
I used to make a ball with the tape I took off my wrists and throw it to him.
He’d control it and do keepy-ups as if it was a football.