Zola on the late legend Maradona

Sun 03 January 2021 | 10:43

The former Napoli star talked about the loss of Maradona and their memories together.



player and Maradona’s teammate,

Gianfranco Zola

, talked about the painful loss of the Argentine and what Diego Maradona told him before their Soccer Aid charity match at Old Trafford in 2006.

“Diego was like an older brother for me,”

Zola told

La Repubblica newspaper.

“He taught me so much, I’ll never forget it. His death was a hard blow. I knew about his lifestyle, but I’d never imagined he could die. He caught me unprepared.

“I spoke with [Ciro] Ferrara and [Antonio] Careca. It was so painful. We talked about games, trainings, victories and laughs. Not many defeats. Diego was great, it’s wrong to describe him hastily. Who was lucky enough to play with him only received good things,”

he added.

“The last time I saw him was on the pitch. In Rome and in Manchester. It was a charity match with Robbie Williams. He challenged me to free kicks. He told me: ‘You’re getting better, but you still have work to do.' We also met at the Stadio San Paolo for Ciro’s farewell to football. He wasn’t feeling well.”

“I had a genius by my side, someone who never boasted of his his immense abilities, intuition or his game play.I think about the ispiration of [Paul] Gascoigne or [George] Best. They were immense in terms of vision on the pitch, but fragile off the pitch.”

"If I hadn’t met Maradona I would have been only a good footballer. I will keep his image on the pitch and the image of a person who went beyond the limits. He never hurt anyone but himself.”

source: SportMob

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