The sporting world was rocked by the news that Argentina legend Diego Maradona had died on Wednesday evening, and tributes poured in from all corners of the footballing world for El Pibe de Oro.
There are many more people who were closer to the icon, but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was asked about the 1986 World Cup winner ahead of the Reds’ Champions League clash with Serie A outfit Atalanta.
The German explained that Maradona had been part of his life for as long as he can remember, citing a memory of watching him at a very young age when Diego was a teenager.
“It’s like, I’m 53 years old and it feels like my entire life, he was part of it,” the boss told BT Sport, as quoted by Liverpoolfc.com.
“When I was very, very young – maybe eight or nine, 10 years old – I saw him for the first time and he was 16 or 17. In any video, juggling the ball, from that moment on he was the player for me.
“It’s like, from an international point of view there’s Pele, Maradona, Messi, if you want – one Brazilian and two Argentinians. I saw his documentary not too long ago; Diego was a sensational guy, Maradona had some struggles, let me say it like this. I will miss both.”
There is no doubt Maradona has carved his name out in history for his glittering career in football – he will never be forgotten for the impact he made on and off the pitch in his homeland and in Europe.
His genius touched six clubs between 1976 to 1997, with him plying his trade for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys.
After his playing days were over, Diego moved into management and took the reigns at his national side, before moving onto a plethora of teams including Gimnasia de La Plata of whom he was still working with up until his death.