Millwall manager Gary Rowett recalls watching “iconic” talent Diego Maradona

Gary Rowett has hailed Diego Maradona as an “iconic” footballer – paying tribute to the Argentinian legend.

The World Cup-winner passed away on Wednesday aged 60.

Maradona was one of the greatest players of his generation and is best remembered for his pivotal role in Argentina winning the 1986 World Cup.

It was his infamous “Hand of God” punch of the ball which put the South American side on their way to dumping England out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage. He then went on to score a superb solo goal in the same match.

Maradona picked up a swathe of silverware with Napoli and Barcelona. He was also revered at his first club – Boca Juniors – where they claimed the Primera Division title.

Millwall manager Rowett said: “I would have been 12 when the ’86 World Cup was one. I was such a football fan and Maradona was one of the few players that was so iconic. The debate then was whether Maradona or Pele was the greatest footballer – more recently it has been Messi and Ronaldo.

“He had so much charisma on the football pitch. I remember that England game and there was so much talk about the handball – but he was incredible in that match. He single-handedly, excuse the pun, beat England.

“I’m so glad I managed to at least see that era of football. I know that domestically with Napoli he helped them win two Serie A titles from nothing.

“He was such an incredibly influential player. There are not ever going to be many players with the attributes he had.”


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