Today’s modern stars inspired by Diego Maradona

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Diego Maradona achieved everything during his career, inspired Napoli to underdog successes in Serie A and almost won the World Cup for Argentina in 1986. In addition, Maradona had a compulsive and outspoken personality that made him a cult hero for millions around the world.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Diego is considered one of the greatest football players in history, if not the greatest. Here is a list of players who saw him as their inspiration.

Two of Argentina’s greatest talents ever / DANIEL GARCIA / Getty Images

Some observers claim that Maradona lost Messi’s best chance of success at the World Cup through his chaotic leadership of their 2010 squad.

But when it comes to game inspiration, it should come as no surprise that Messi was inspired by Diego.

In an interview, Messi said: “When I was growing up, Maradona had just returned to Argentina after a period with Sevilla. He returned to Newell’s (his childhood club) in 1993, and he was able to take Argentina to a new World Cup after a play-off. I can no doubt say that if anyone inspired me to become a football player, it was him.

Kane in Action / James Williamson – AMA / GettyImages

The England captain met Maradona in 2017, who took part in Tottenham’s 4-1 demolition of Liverpool at Wembley. Kane and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris joined Mauricio Pochettino and his staff to talk to Maradona in advance, with former Spurs hero Ossie Ardiles also on hand to help translate into English.

After the match, Kane was overwhelmed in his praise for the Argentine and said: “He is a fantastic guy. I got to meet him before the match – good energy, good guy. He is one of the top 10s ever so it was great for him to be here today.

“He did not speak much English, only spoke Spanish so I did not really understand what he was saying but he was very energetic, he said some nice compliments, not only to me but to the team and to the manager.

“It was fantastic to be in the company of someone like that. What a player he was and I can only learn from someone like him.

Pochettino during the 2002 World Cup / Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Before his successful managerial career, Pochettino was a robust defender best remembered for delivering match-winning penalties to England in the 2002 World Cup.

Like many of his countrymen, Pochettino found inspiration in Maradona’s achievements. But a revealing anecdote from their time at Newell’s Old Boys exposed the chaotic energy that surrounded the man.

“We were in the room together during the pre-season in Mar del Plata,” Pochettino recalls. “I remember one day he started shooting the journalists in Argentina. The day before he slept in my room. He loved basketball and went to see it in Mar del Plata – the final of the conference. And then, in the morning, I woke up and he did not lie down. in bed.

“Then I go to breakfast, the manager asked about him and I said, ‘No, no, no, he did not come back to the hotel.’ “After breakfast we went to training. Nobody knew about Diego and at lunchtime it was the latest news on TV … Diego is shooting journalists in Buenos Aires! Four hundred kilometers away!”

The Royal Dutchman shared many qualities with Maradona / Soccrates Images / Getty Images

At his peak, Robin van Persie was one of the world’s great strikers with an eye for unorthodox goals that only a true genius would even think of, never do anything about.

Fittingly, Maradona was one of his childhood idols. Speaking at the 2010 World Cup, the Dutchman said: “As soon as I saw the video when I was a boy Maradona lifted [World Cup] trophy and crying I was stuck.

“I can not tell you how many times I have seen that clip.”

The Italian is one of Chelsea’s most beloved former players / Gary M. Prior / Getty Images

One of the Premier League’s first cool foreign imports, Zola has talked about the influence Maradona had on her career during their time together in Naples.

He said: “When I first met Diego I was only 23 and just a young player trying to get better. I had the best players in the world in front of me so I felt lucky. It inspires you to do better and the challenge was to get my football level to his.

“He talked to me a lot. Anyone who has played with Maradona can say that he is a wonderful, simple guy. At that time he was by far the best player in the world, and probably the best player of all time, but it was easy to talk to him. , he was humble and genuine.

“He was always happy to make suggestions and give advice to young players. We had a particularly good relationship and I used to stay a little longer on the training ground with him who tried free kicks and played small matches.”

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