Brazilian superstar Neymar has recalled his first meeting with Argentinian legend Diego Maradona.
The PSG forward, who scored a brace in the French club’s 3-2 win over Manchester United in the Champions League this week, says while he met Maradona a few times, it was the first that sticks in his mind.
Neymar was just twelve years old at the time.
“I had just a few contacts with Maradona, but I’ll never forget the one when I was 12 or 13 years old,” Neymar was quoted as saying by Eleven Sports.
“I was just starting at Santos and I went to watch a show match between Brazil and Argentina – a game between former players. As the Brazilian team’s bus were already full, I couldn’t go with them, so they put me onto Argentina’s bus. There were two guys highlighted in there, because they were sitting in the first seats: they were Mancuso and Maradona.”
“So they put me alongside them and treated me very well. So well that, when we arrived in the stadium, they took me to Argentina’s locker room and onto the field. I even have a photo with Maradona, from when I was a little. He called me over to take that picture. I’ll never forget his gesture.”
“On the pitch he was an icon for everybody, sure. For me as well, but I’ve always respected him as an athlete and as a footballer. I will never forget that.”