Argentines bid final farewell to Maradona as national mourning begins

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Welcome into this special edition of espn fc as we pay tribute to diego maradonna. Who passed away today at the age of sixty craig burley with me here in the studio you can clinton joining us a little later on in the program to talk about what it was like to play against him. We also welcome to the show gab. Marcatti and argentine colleague from espn deported. Ricardo ortiz is with us rookie. I want to start with you to try out. Some how important. Maradona was for argentina. Hi guys pleasure to be with all of you. Maradona as the most important figure ever in argentina i. It doesn't matter what where when everybody would always talk about madonna. He's a legend. Now the idol and now a legend. I it's just unbelievable the morning and what people on the streets are doing in the middle of a pandemic they don't care if in argentina right now for example in the stadium of book juniors. There's hundreds of thousands of people probably a lot more tonight gathering where he played and won a championship. There's hundreds and thousands of people gathered around out of junior stadium where it all started and there's hundreds and hundreds of people outside of his house in a very poor neighborhood. Outside of one is ours. Quality fiorito the house where he grew up on with dirt floors lighting candles every street every corner every city. Every town people are out on the streets and tomorrow in the funeral it will be in the government's palace. They're expecting over a million people tomorrow in the center of one side is to say goodbye to somebody. Who's the most famous argentinian for us. And the most famous argentinian around the world ever so people are really suffering something that they knew it was going to happen sooner rather than later. What a player was. Yeah i mean multiple world cups. They played on one one obviously in a sex with not the best argentina site but he was amazing went to spain and eighty two and played in the world cup's twenty one year old a way in his shoulders. One so young at that point got himself sent off from the big game against brazil will even lend from the came back was even stronger delivered and one of the things that were thinking about is up until his death today. If he'd gone to any club to visit and the world the moment be the biggest clubs in germany. spain. Italy england every player. Some of these players are superstars. Everyone of these players would have wanted a photo. We've seen some of the pictures videos during the when he did go and visit Clubs over the past few years and an all these guys all the ones to do a photo. Welcome because everybody just know what a superstar boys and it could walk into any club under beg stars would all be over to say please. Can i have a full. Because that's how much people hold them and respect gap markazi with us as well gabe. Obviously we heard how argentina is hurting in particular as naples today. No question about it. People are out there on the streets in naples. Even though of course there is a curfew going on right now The connection that he made with naples obviously his adopted city and some might look some of the darkness in his life and pinpoint. That is the moment when when things started to go wrong for him by you know you. You speak to his teammates former teammates and dal speak of of his generosity. They speak about how he was always front and center always standing up to be counted. Random people on the street and to this day in the streets of naples. You'll find murals tomato. You'll find shrines to montana. He had a hold over a city city. That was when you arrive was was beaten down was was impoverished had never won a title There's a divide between the wealthier north of italy in the poor south of italy and they won two titles while he was their third one. They let slip away at the end. Still rather murky circumstances and he's the guy who changed all that he changed the inevitability of history. I think in the eyes of the united a lot of people and that's why he resonated so much she loved certainly enables but i think beyond that he loved being anti-establishment he loves speaking his mind. And i'll tell you what. Then i throughout his life you know. He had highs and lows he made enemies and then at times but in the end in the last fifteen twenty years whether whether it was pillay whether it was peter shilton he he came back and he made up with with a lot of the people he he fell out with and i was struck by something i read. I read somebody posted an interview. He gave back Back is a nineteen year old where he talked about how we talk about. Favorite actor was right on which i found kind of random but he talked about what is greatest trait was and he said i wanna be friends with my enemies and and i think in many ways that is how much of the world from a distance viewed him as as somebody who had the good fortune before he passed to go back and and and really rebuild all the bridges and all the relationships and and really leave us on on good terms with good terms with with very much. Everybody out there ricky. Take us through your point of view with regards to how you will remember him. Remember him of one of the greatest ever on the feel and also a personality so strong and controversial of it. Not many great athletes have done that that to be so much in spotlight for his entire life since since he was about seven eight years old when in argentina they started talking about him he used to play for the us and the red star is today's roca. Were people will gather out of nowhere. Because they knew there was a new kid that was unreal and this was way before cable internet and social media and he did all that before those times. Which is just incredible. He was just different than everybody else and that will remember him. Also as a great great captain whether you love or you hate him. He loved that. Argentinian jersey. More than anything in more than anybody. He was a great leader. He would push to the end. And that's why how he won a world cup. That's how we made it to the final and the second world cup. He played injured with his right leg in really bad shape his ankle and really bad shape. If you look at through the years he started at the age of sixteen Playing in first division and he never stopped. I think he could've played ten more years if he would've taken care of himself. I also remember him for that for not being able to really take care of his body and his mind. It just went over his heading. Never control himself. He went into politics and a lot of people hating him for that but he always spoke his mind. He didn't care. What where when and all. These things for maradona are just different. From almost every other athlete maybe with except mohammed ali that in and out of a field or boxing ring he just kept being on the front page of every paper and every newspaper that was ever printed. It's just unbelievable coming from argentina that i was listening to be there. You know you think of italian soccer in the eighties. I think he was one of the first ones who made people around the world. Want to watch league. Like the italian league just because maradona was playing he. He won napoli twice where they could have. Never even come closer to that. And i've been there many many times and it's just unreal today yesterday and thirty years ago for every day you can buy and maradona shirt. A lot easier than you canning. Senior member things ham seek e way. Anybody that played after him. It's just incredible. What those people thought and loved about the madonna to go back to you. What ricky said about. you know. it could've played longer. Potentially i looked after these body a little bit longer and his main but then the game didn't look after the maradona's back in those days and for louis people the younger generation watch lino massi. Do all these things and they are great. And i'm not taking that away. But he was doing that on. ploughed fields. right with pitches where the ball would. Something's wouldn't even bums are bubbled hard to control with defenders who were some of the roughest toughest one and literally wanted to snap them. It's not please legs. Because that was the only way to stop him and he had to deal with that every time we went on the field and still perform and some of the most wonderful and great goals. That will ever see you can imagine ho has body with the bean. At the end of a game ho the game was played and refereed and the eighty s is a complete contrast to the modern game and rightly so the way the current players are protected. He did not have the did not have that luxury and yet were still able to do that. Which is quite amazing. We'll say thank you very much to rookie for joining us Of course we just say out pouring of support. And this is what i had to say on twitter. What's sad news. I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said but for now make god give strength to family members. One day. I hope we can play pool together in the sky. Welcome to the show. Now someone who knew exactly what it was like to go. Head to head with maradonna international level in a world cup final and obviously on domestic level clinton's men into milan. When diego maradonna was. That is very best for napoli again. Thank you very much for your time. Just your initial reaction about very very very said moment. I think full entire world of football On monday madonna was Was an absolute exception. He was Probably for to take decades. You know the late eighties to the nineties. The most most Amazing play on the planet. He was a A genius he was i. I called him always artist. There's there's they did degrade football player. And then there's maybe one artist and diego maradona's was an artist. He what he did on the field full of creativity full of unbelievable to take knee was just an her off. And i had the pleasure to play many times against him with club team if it was stood guard and you if a cup final was germany world cup finally if it was Into milan the two games against napoli. And you just simple simply admire this guy and to have him. Passover early just sixty sixty years of age is a very very sad to pull unfortunately reality. You can just take us back to to that time. And just how big walls he while he was on his own level in. Oh they were great players obviously in the late eighties. Early nineties in italy Lauder mateos was one of the best players in the world goalie from boston. Right cut curriculum. Ow before i was maybe blood was was was unbelievable. Great players but he was an another level. He was just someone that that always made the difference and figured things out on the field that nobody else could figure out so you could men mock him. You could mock him his own older. You had no no idea how to mock him because he was just so gifted and so there was so much admiration for him and and outside the field he was just a simple very Normal person in a lot of people thought momma donna. All his Issues then drugs and other things. Li laid on was a very complicated person. He was not. Diego was a very down to earth. Very normal guy that just wanted to be with his friends with his families and What he has brought to argentina you will never forget that in what he brought to his especially to is not believer son of naples That people will never forget that. So imagine today You know how people morning in argentina and in napoli in italy and around the world is just a just a very sad moment. you're what was it like the reaction from the crowds when you were up against napoli and maradona's was on the board. I imagine just that sense of expectation must've being palpable even as a player. Yeah i mean i've been. I heard the news i was. I was really shocked as money. And and i posted something on my twitter side and i rarely actually post things but by posted something that i always thought about. Diego was his warmup routine depending on the music in the stadium started to do his routine with jogging and the ball around and that was made him. I think it has seven million hits by now. Life is live music. Dead really is jay. Go on monday madonna. He just wanted to be in rhythm himself if the music with the game and when you watch him then doing his walmart you you phase him actually as an opponent and you kind of have lost the game because you gave him so much respect you give him so much and because he was such a fantastic football player that your and that kind of transfer to the to the to fans in the stadium you know the even away games for him became home games because the people just wanted to see him. You know if you played in milan in front of eighty five thousand which is kind of standing up giving him standing ovations even if you may be lost a game or other games so so he was just a. It was a sustained unique over almost twenty years. And i always put him on the same pay leeann fronts. Bacon bala prior to madonna and then obviously came the next generations with Mac in our analogy. But but donna izzo in his own way. I simply unique. You mentioned the next generation yorgen and a lot of people may be seen. Maradonna play live the younger generation who are watching. Just talk about the fact that was. That was the protection. Was that from the referees. That maybe have now and you're playing on very different surfaces as well well in in in his days Obviously the fields were not good. The reveries didn't give you any protection. Ended defenders has killers. You know they just ditch us. I don't know how many follows a game run on madonna. Try to stop him all over two three defenders at the same time when all over him and he's still find solutions he's still found found a way out in score and scott incredible goals then so he took a lot a lot of hits And obviously his fame than along side in the spotlight living. The spotlight was not really his his wish. His wish was to be a normal guy playing his game. Making the difference on the field off the field he just wanted to be with friends and family but what he what he achieved because of those circumstances doing his playing days is almost impossible to achieve the interest thing as i saw clip from an of. You're on sky sports in the uk from a couple of weeks ago and it was moretz. You'll portrait was on former tottenham manager of course former argentine international news talking and they were talking about maradona. And he said we know we have all these stories about the off-the-field antics of recent years and even when he was playing but behind the scenes privately when he was with you or with. These teammates. Away from the glare of the media. He was a really genuinely warm individuals that wanted to help people the rest of as all a big story true for the newspapers but it was interesting portrait. He spoke so long layover in another thing. I think about because it's a different era to me but playing against the likes of the brazilian ronaldo the world cup and france ninety eight and seen what he can do with three or four plans around. You thought you had time in the corner on the over sudden four people and he was getting strike goal and we know how good he was. Brilliant for the hair would have been laid to play against off. That's where it was like playing against a great player. Light renowned on the other thing was empty before my oktay jokes. Gian-franco franco zola. He was going to be the air at one point. I believe to diego maradona napoli. No zola was a majestic player. But can you imagine having the way and your shoulders of go in there and potentially replace the quality of maradona. so it's unfathomable. Anybody can do that. But but no yet i think everybody of have over the piece of just we know there's lots of stories. We notice milan. But this was really apart from great. Football was a really genuinely warm guy. Last point again you do fail. That will never be anyone like diego maradonna again. I don't think so. Because i think diego maradona was was so unique because the way he emotionally connected with the people of his people and weren't as iowa's in argentina his people in napoli was so deep it was so warm and it was so i- amazing to see i traveled to and obviously go down to two zero so badly wanted to watch book. Juniors weevil played one eight. My life was when my list. And i walked through. Borka the the area around the stadium and almost every second house wall was a was a painting a tribute to jingle maradonna. I mean it's just what he left there with the people they were one they just just melted into each other and the same. He did in napoli for for napoli august. This is a today is very very sad. Sad day because this is this is her almost lifetime hero. I mean throughout generations. You know what he brought to napoli brought to the city of napoli brought hope he brought a smile. He brought excitement. He gave them pride pride. Because you know those years when he joined napoli was a big big Have kind of a disconnection between the south and off in italy and and he wanted to give these people real a real jojoba real pride. And that's what he did through the game of football. He used the tool of football to to bring these people up and and give them give them a quality of life to give them so much more than just his goals on the field. And that's what you see him. That's why i think devil be not a second minor donna coming up anywhere in the world he was. He wasn't one time off like michelangelo or fun. Goal or all these famous autists. He's he's one of them. You can kinsman. Thank very much sheriff supposed to be an outpouring around the world on social media messy writing a very sad day for all argentines and football. He leaves us but does not leave. Because diego is eternal. I'd take all the beautiful moments linked with him and wanted to take the opportunity to send him condolences to all his friends and family. Alrighty

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