‘The moment Maradona saw it, he refused to cut it’: IM Vijayan narrates story of Diego’s visit to Kerala – football

Diego Maradona’s love affair with a football has no parallels. If Gary Lineker, an English nice in his personal proper, felt the bond between the 2, India’s IM Vijayan saw it, standing proper subsequent to the Argentine icon.

One and a half many years of worldwide football, with loads of success, nearly paled compared to the couple of minutes Vijayan obtained to spend with Maradona.

That is Diego Maradona, that’s his influence, mentioned the scorer of one of the quickest objectives in aggressive football.The former India captain had the chance to meet, play ball and hug one of the world’s biggest sporting stars throughout a personal occasion in Kerala a number of years in the past.

“In 2012 in Kannur, I saw first-hand what football meant to Maradona. As part of festivities, a cake was designed like a ground with a football on top of it. The moment Maradona saw it, he refused to cut it,” the 51-yr-previous Vijayan informed PTI recalling the incident.

Vijayan, one of India’s greats on this planet sport, mentioned that the incident “told me” how a lot the football and the bottom meant to Maradona who died on Wednesday following a cardiac arrest. He was 60.

“He agreed to cut only the outer part of the cake. I can say that playing two minutes of football with him on the stage remains one of my biggest achievements in life,” he added.

Vijayan additionally felt Maradona’s outspokenness and childlike enthusiasm could have been the explanations behind the numerous issues he encountered in his blessed but troubled life.”I all the time felt he had the guts of a toddler. And his forthright method could have created all the issues for him.

“He is open about things and say them as they are, on the face,” Vijayan mentioned.

His dying resonated past football with sporting icons reminiscent of Mike Tyson and Magic Johnson paying wealthy tributes and recalling their encounters with the football wizard.

“He may have died but in the hearts of us footballers, he will live on forever. To me, Maradona is God, and God doesn’t die,” mentioned Vijayan.

“Like so many other footballers across the world and India, I too started playing football after watching him play in the 1986 World Cup and lift the trophy, almost singlehandedly, with his dazzling game,” he recalled.

Vijayan agreed with Lineker’s description of Maradona’s romance with football — the previous English striker has performed towards the Argentine in his heydays, together with the 1986 World Cup.”He has such an unimaginable ardour for the sport. I’ve by no means seen anybody have such a gorgeous affection with a football. Diego is unimaginable,” Lineker mentioned in a heartfelt tribute, which has gone viral on-line.

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