For Nigerian Emmanuel Amunike, Columbian great Carlos Valderrama and Frenchman Marcel Desailly, the choice of best player did not take much time- The verdict of the trio were unanimous – Diego Maradona, Argentine legend and 1986 World Cup winner in Mexico.
These apt observation of the Argentine superstar were made by the three of the five former greats who played an exhibition match to mark the 30 days to go to FIFA U-17 World Cup picked legendary Argentine Diego Maradona as their favourite footballer, says a PTI report.
When a scribe asked the FIFA legends at a media conference whom they considered their idol, Amunike quickly responded saying, “Maradona. He was an amazing player.
“The first time I saw him was the World Cup in Mexico. He was playing against England. He took the ball from the middle till the goalpost and scored. People in my country were screaming and shouting the next day claiming to be Maradona.”
The opinion of Valderrama was no different.
“Maradona. Not only because he scored goals, but also he had a tough motive to play in South America in those years with so many greats around. It was not easy to be the best,” the Colombian great pointed out.
Maradona, considered to be one of the greatest football players ever, appeared in four FIFA World Cups, including the one in 1986 in Mexico, where he led Argentina to victory over West Germany in the final and also won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.
Desailly too picked the Argentina legend saying, “Maradona has been unique to his teammates to create history for Argentina, world and football.”
“Michael Laundrup, the Denmark international. He played at Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid. He was my idol. I liked everything about him,” said Morientes, who was cynosure of all eyes at the D Y Patil stadium here.
And finally Mexican Jorge Campos announced his favourite player and said, “Marco van Basten was one of the greatest strikers of all time. He will always remain in my memory.”
The five players were here to participate in an exhibition match to promote football and particularly the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup (October 6-28) to be held across six cities in the country.
The World Cup, the first FIFA tournament to be hosted by India, with have 24 teams in the fray.
But Fernando Morientes chose Denmark great Michel Laundrup as his favourite one.