Great Britain

Paul Gascoigne shares brilliant Diego Maradona story in tribute to Argentine legend

The former England international crossed paths with the Argentine throughout their careers, with both players expressing themselves on the pitch and providing joy to millions of fans around the world.

The legendary characters played against each other when Gascoigne played in Italy with Lazio, as Maradona neared the end of his career at Sevilla in Spain.

And after hearing news of Maradona’s passing, Gascoigne has spoken fondly of his time together with the 1986 World Cup winner.

Gascoigne told Sky Sports’ Alan Myers: "It's such sad news for everyone in sport, I got to know him personally, I remember me and Diego outside a hotel.

Gascoigne remembers coming across Maradona during his time at Lazio

“I said, 'can I borrow your lighter?' And it was Diego! I laughed. What a talent.

“I played against him for Lazio vs Sevilla, I scored and I said, 'Diego beat that,' and he winked and scored a free-kick, incredible goal.

“My thoughts go out to his family. RIP Diego, you will be missed.”

Another former England international has paid tribute to Maradona, with Bryan Robson remembering his battles against the Argentine.

“What a player he was - undoubtedly the best of his era and up there with the likes of Pele among the greatest ever," said Robson.

“He won the 1986 World Cup for Argentina more or less on his own. The football he played and the goals he scored in that tournament were unbelievable.

“He went past five players to score against England in the quarter-final and then did exactly the same against Belgium in the semi-final.

“He was a real character too. I played with him in quite a few charity games and he was a great person to be around.

“Of course, we met in 1984 as well. It was a great evening for us and people still talk about it 36 years later.

“To come back from 2-0 down against Barcelona is a great result at any time, but to do it against a team containing Maradona and Bernd Schuster made it even more special.

“It’s a sad day for football but he leaves us with some fantastic memories.”

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