'The Ball Obeyed Him' - Matthaeus Rates Maradona As 'best Opponent'
Muhammad Irfan 2 months ago Thu 26th November 2020 | 06:40 PM
Berlin, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 26th Nov, 2020 ) :Former West Germany captain Lothar Matthaeus has described Argentina legend Diego Maradona, whom he faced in the 1986 and 1990 World Cup finals, as his "best opponent" ever.
The abrasive Matthaeus heavily marked Maradona in the 1986 final in Mexico City, yet the diminutive Argentinian, who died from a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 60, still inspired his side with a stunning display in a 3-2 victory.
It was Maradona's superb pass which allowed Jorge Burruchaga to score the winning goal four minutes from time at Estadio Azteca.
Games against Maradona "were big, exciting duels," Matthaeus, 59, told German daily Bild.
"These are moments that I will always have in my heart.
"It was always a challenge to stand up to him. He's been with me for half my life -- he was my best opponent.
"The ball always obeyed him, even at the highest speeds, as you might only see with Messi today," Matthaeus said of Maradona.
"He had a big heart, was generous. You felt like he was always there for you," Matthaeus added.
"It wasn't a normal friendship. Our relationship was characterised by the greatest respect for one another." Matthaeus said Maradona's death was a "shock, even if you were a little prepared for it due to his lifestyle.
"The impression he made wasn't the best back then, but no matter how he lived, what matters is his legacy and what he has done for football."Although Matthaeus rates Pele as the world's best footballer, because the Brazil legend won the World Cup three times -- twice more than Maradona -- the Argentine is "right behind him.""He was one of the greatest in football."