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Jari Litmanen: ”Diego Maradona was my greatest idol”

November 26, 2020

IN his 2015 autobiography Litmanen 10, Unibet ambassador and Finnish football legend Jari Litmanen spoke very highly of Diego Maradona. The Finn even revealed that he was actually nicknamed "Diego", after Maradona, when growing up in the Southern Finnish town of Lahti.

The news that shook the footballing world on Wednesday night also had a profound effect on Litmanen, even if Maradona's passing was not a total surprise to him.

"Very tragic news. Unfortunately, in a way you could have expected it for some time. Diego was one of the best players in the history of the game and one of the most well-known people in the entire history of sports", Litmanen tells Unibet.

"At the same time, he always had problems trying to control his own life. There have always been things going on around him, for better and for worse."

Diego Maradona's status as Litmanen's footballing role model has not waned after his youth.

"Maradona is my greatest idol and inspiration as a player. His time in Napoli from 1985 to 1991 was unique and the World Cup in Mexico in 1986 downright magical. That period of time had a huge effect on me as a footballer", Litmanen says.

On Wednesday night, Litmanen became one of the many international top players who had to bid farewell to one of the greatest to ever play the game. He sends one final greeting to his idol. 

"Descansando en paz, Maestro".