Where does Solskjaer rank Diego Maradona?

Friday 27 November 2020 13:31

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reacted to the death of Diego Maradona by describing the Argentinian legend as football's greatest-ever player.

The 1986 World Cup hero passed away on Wednesday (25 November) at the age of 60, sparking a wave of eulogies across the sporting world, from Buenos Aires to Naples.

And now the Manchester United manager has added his own Scandinavian tribute.

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Asked about the player known as El Pibe de Oro ('the Golden Kid'), in his pre-Southampton press conference, the Norwegian rhapsodised about watching Maradona play in the flesh at the peak of his career.

“It was a sad day,” lamented Solskjaer, “and, for me, Diego Maradona will always be the best player that I've seen live.

“I was fortunate to see him play for Argentina against Norway in Oslo. They [Argentina] lost 1-0 before the [1986] World Cup! I actually remember a Norwegian lad, Kjetil Osvold, nutmegging him, which I thought was fantastic.”

After the game, as a 13-year-old boy, Ole even managed a personal encounter with Maradona, who was months away from dominating the World Cup in Mexico, where he was named the tournament's outstanding player.

“After the game, I was stood outside the ground waiting to get a glimpse of him,” revealed Solskjaer, who named his own street football team 'Maranico' in tribute to Maradona, Michel Platini and Zico. “I actually touched his shoulder as he walked past the crowd!

“Since then, I've had the pleasure of meeting him at Old Trafford and [he was] a guy with unbelievable talent on the pitch and a smile always when you see him.

“So I've got to say, it was a sad day, and for me, he would be the best that's ever played football.”