Mens Team

Guardiola: 'Maradona made football better'

Pep Guardiola spoke of his immense sadness as he paid special tribute to Diego Maradona following the news of the Argentine legend’s passing earlier today.

One of the greatest players the world has ever seen, Maradona spent two years at Barcelona leaving just before Pep himself joined the Catalan club as a youngster in the mid-1980s.

His impact went on to be felt around the world with Maradona captaining his country to World Cup glory in 1986 and also leading Napoli to two Serie A title triumphs in Italy.

And as he paid his own and City’s respects to Maradona after Wednesday’s Champions League win in Olympiakos, Guardiola said the midfield genius, who was only 60, had helped ‘make football better’


“There was a banner in Argentina one year ago that I read, that said: ‘No matter what you have done with your life Diego, what matters is what you have done for our lives.’

“He gave a lot of joy and he made football better.

“What he did for Napoli and for Argentina in 1986 was something unbelievable.

“Rest in peace and on behalf of Manchester City a big hug for all his family.”

TRIBUTE: The teams held a minute's silence in honour of Diego Maradona before kick-off in Athens
TRIBUTE: The teams held a minute's silence in honour of Diego Maradona before kick-off in Athens

The boss also spoke of his special memories of watching Maradona play with Barcelona when he was growing up.

And said that his impact resonated both at the Nou Camp and throughout the rest of the world.

“When I was a little boy with my dad coming to see Barca with Maradona was incredible,” Pep added.

“Unfortunately, he had a big injury.

“When I arrived at the academy he had moved to Napoli. His impact in world football, the love and the joy, I was not with him in the locker room, but all the people who were express his generosity and how he thought of them to make football better.

“On the pitch he was unique. A once in a generation. It is sad news.”

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