It’s been one whole year since we lost one of the game’s most iconic and revered figures, Diego Maradona.
A persona who truly transcended the pitch, Maradona became so much more than just a football player for so many across the globe.
It’s now been a full year since the footballing world lost one of its greatest ever icons, an anniversary that has once again led to an outpouring of memories and tales about the Argentine maverick.
One piece of footage in particular sums up the approach Maradona had to the game during his playing years. We talk of course, about that unforgettable warm-up prior to Napoli’s second-leg UEFA Cup semi-final against Bayern Munich in 1989.
Given the significance of the fixture, at least some element of nervousness would have been more than understandable under the circumstances.
With a soundtrack of Opus’ hit track Live is Life ringing around the arena, Maradona’s pre-game drills most certainly suggested anything but nerves.
Nonchalantly juggling the ball in time with the music, balancing it on his head and skipping around with his laces undone—the footage was a viral hit before any of us knew what viral even meant. It encapsulated the forward’s effortlessly brilliant, care-free attitude to the game perfectly.
Napoli headed into the game with a 2-0 cushion from the first leg. A 2-2 draw in the second leg saw them set up a thrilling final with Stuttgart.
The Italians would edge the first leg of the final 2-1 (yes that was a thing back then), before a 3-3 draw in the reverse fixture was enough to secure their first major European honour, all with Maradona leading the club as captain.