FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their fourth goal wearing a Newell's Old Boys shirt in reference to former player Diego Maradona.(REUTERS)
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their fourth goal wearing a Newell's Old Boys shirt in reference to former player Diego Maradona.(REUTERS)

Lionel Messi’s tributes to Maradona after scoring was moving and beautiful: La Liga India MD Jose Antonio Cachaza

In an exclusive conversation with Hindustan Times, La Liga India Managing Director Jose Antonio Cachaza opened up on the influence Maradona had on Spanish football.
Hindustan Times, Delhi | By Karan Prashant Saxena
UPDATED ON DEC 04, 2020 08:38 AM IST

On November 25, 2020, the footballing world lost a legend - Diego Maradona. The Argentinian forward, who was famous for his ‘Hand of God’ goal during the 1986 World Cup - revolutionised South American football during his historic career. He also had a massive influence on Spanish football during his two-year stint with Barcelona between 1982-1985. In 1992, Maradona returned to La Liga to play a season for Sevilla.

In an exclusive conversation with Hindustan Times, La Liga India Managing Director Jose Antonio Cachaza opened up on the influence Maradona had on Spanish football. Jose always spoke on the recent tributes paid to the Argentinian legend by Lionel Messi after a 4-0 win over Osasuna last week, something which has led to Barcelona forward paying 600 euros fine.

Here are the excerpts:

How Maradona impacted LaLiga during his stint with Barcelona?

Maradona’s signing for Barcelona meant a PR revolution. Decades before not just social media but before any kind of digital communication existed, it was a social phenomenon. In addition, Maradona scored some of his most iconic goals while playing for FC Barcelona; he even made us witness one of the most incredible pieces of dribbling in football history during an El Clásico match.

How will Maradona be remembered in the history of Spanish football?

Let us not forget that Maradona started his European career in Barcelona and bid farewell to the Continent stadia with an unforgettable season playing for Sevilla FC. Both Barcelona and Sevilla fans and former teammates always showed love for what Diego delivered for Nou Camp and Sánchez Pizjuan.

What was the impact Maradona had on football in Spain?

Spanish football has a very close and special relationship with South American football; if you look at its history, most of their best players have played for LaLiga teams. This is especially true when you talk about Argentinian players. Di Stefano, Maradona, and Messi are arguably their best players ever, while others consider that only Pele and Cruyff could ever reach that level. Therefore, if you closely look at these five names, all but the Brazilian legend played in Spain for LaLiga teams.

Messi’s tributes to Maradona after scoring the goal - what are your thoughts on those gestures from the Argentinian?

Diego and Leo had a close professional and personal relationship. Messi always showed his strong appreciation for Maradona. Messi’s tribute after scoring was simply beautiful and moving.

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