Looking back, remembering and admiring. That’s all we can do now. All those photos and videos from the era must be held dearly, for they are a reminder just what that divine left foot was able to do on a football pitch.
Diego Armando Maradona has sadly passed away in Argentina at the age of 60. The football world likes to compare footballers from different eras, and the question of the greatest ever player is often talked about. There will never be a definitive answer, but this isn’t that important. Certainly, Maradona was special. For many, he was divine. For everyone, he was an opponent as feared as he was admired.
That left foot was magical. He was a leader, he spurred all his teams on. He became a World Champion with Argentina in 1986. In Italy, meanwhile, he inspired Napoli to two Scudetto titles. Never before had anyone led the Partenopei to such heights in Italy. Those wonderful years for Italian football will never be forgotten. From 1984 to 1994, Serie A was truly blessed by the presence of Diego Armando Maradona.
While he was undoubtedly a winner, he didn’t always win. Diego was a fierce and proud opponent of ours for years, with Inter and Napoli fighting it out to win Scudetto titles. The rivalry was a healthy and extraordinary one, always full of passion. Below is a photo of Lothar Matthäus celebrating after scoring a free kick in Inter 2-1 Napoli, the match which saw Trapattoni’s record-breaking Nerazzurri side clinch the Scudetto title in 1989.
Diego Maradona looked at him, glaring but proud: he knew he had lost. He recognised defeat, but had already began, in that moment, planning his revenge. He enacted it the following season, winning the Scudetto in 1990. It was an endless competition that repeated itself in the 1990 World Cup final in Italy. "He’s the best opponent I've faced throughout my entire career, I think that's enough to define him." This is what Diego had to say about Lothar, so serving as a testimony of the rivalry between the champions.
Making impossible things seem simple is an ability that seemed natural to Maradonna. For this reason, the footballing world has always loved him unconditionally, to a level equal only to his sensational talent.
From today onwards, the world of football will be different. Looking back and reminiscing won’t only bring melancholy but an intimate and crushing sadness as well. It’s something that will be shared by all fans of the game, a game made bright by the genius of a unique player.
FC Internazionale Milano, its President Steven Zhang, Vice President Javier Zanetti, CEOs Alessandro Antonello and Beppe Marotta, Coach Antonio Conte and his staff, the players and the entire world of Inter together with fans across the world join in the condolences for the death of Diego Armando Maradona. His family are in our thoughts.