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Spurs v Inter - the day Maradona played for Spurs...

Posted on 3 August 2016  - 17:30

Think of Inter Milan and most fans will have visions of Gareth Bale tearing down the left wing on that night of all nights at White Hart Lane in November, 2010, and our famous 3-1 win against the Italians - then reigning champions - in the Champions League.

Maradona in action at the Lane 30 years agoMaradonaMaradona gets after Liam Brady

However, turn the clock back 30 years and another generation of Spurs fans will remember Inter for another reason completely - Diego Maradona.

The greatest player on the planet - certainly at that time - pulled on our famous Lilywhite shirt in a testimonial match for his compatriot, the great Ossie Ardiles, against Inter on Thursday, May 1, 1986.

Maradona turned up without boots, borrowed Clive Allen's and thrilled the 30,000-plus crowd who turned up to honour World Cup winner Ossie.

Clive and Mark Falco scored as we ran out 2-1 winners with Liam Brady on target for Inter.

Two months later, Maradona produced one of the best individual performances in tournament football to inspire Argentina to World Cup glory in Mexico.

In the group stage, he scored one and provided assists for four of Argentina's six goals before scoring twice in the quarter-final against England - including the infamous 'Hand of God' goal - then both goals in the semi-final victory over Belgium.

There was one more assist as Argentina beat West Germany 3-2 in the final at the Azteca Stadium.

Below: Ossie with Maradona


Here's what some of the players involved said at the time...

Glenn Hoddle

"The sheer magnetism of Maradona lifted the whole atmosphere. A staggering 30,000-plus crowd turned up for the match, and the kick-off had to be delayed for 15 minutes to allow all the thousands of fans in. Maradona and Ossie entered the stadium after the two teams to thunderous applause. It was clear the public were enthralled to have the chance to see a player of Maradona’s special skills, and he didn’t disappoint them. Of course he did not extend himself to the full, but I am a player whose philosophy is built around skilful football and I could not but admire this stocky little genius."

Chris Waddle

"I’ve never seen a better footballer. Never. He was by far the best player I’ve ever played with. In the game he did a couple of nice runs and a bicycle kick; he was quite quiet, but when you had the ball you knew you could give it to him and there wouldn’t be any problems. His touch was amazing and he was so strong. His change of pace and change of direction were incredible.

"We were saying to Ossie afterwards, ‘What did he think?’ When we were saying that, Maradona came up to me in the dressing room and shook my hand. And through Ossie’s translation, he said, 'very good player, he should play in Italy’. I thought, ‘Wow, Maradona’s just said I’m a good player’."

Below: Chris Waddle in action that night against Inter


Tony Galvin

"When we found out he was actually going to play, everyone got very excited. We were all queuing up for his autograph in the dressing room before the game. He’d never met the team before and we were all waiting for autographs. It was quite funny seeing all these footballers waiting with pens in the dressing room.

"You could really play one-touch football with him. When you play with top-class players like that, the one thing that always strikes you is their first touch; really top players have magnificent control of the ball. I remember a pass got really hammered into him and he killed it dead - he was clearly thinking about the next pass before the ball had even arrived. And when he ran with the ball it was never further than three inches from his foot - this is something you just can’t coach."