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Mtawali on Diego Maradona the teammate

credit: BackPagePix

Ernest Mtawali has recalled the time he shared a pitch with Diego Maradona, and saw the Argentine great score a whopping 19 goals!

Maradona suffered a heart attack and passed away at the age of 60 on Wednesday, and the world at large has wasted no time in remembering his many exploits.

Former Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Mtawali has joined in, telling of the time he met Maradona while at Newell’s Old Boys.

“Few people know that it was Diego Maradona who recommended me to Newell's Old Boys after soccer agent Marcelo Houseman sent him my videos while playing in South Africa,” ‘Wire’ recalls. “Houseman is the same agent that recommended the likes of Shoes Moshoeu to Turkey.

“I first met him [Maradona] in 1995 in an indoor friendly match at La Coconolo in Buenos Aires. What a nice gentleman! Very kind and welcoming. In fact, a totally different human being to what some people believe.

“We played on the same team during that friendly match. His close ball control was something else. I played in defence and he played up front. We won 21-0 and he scored 19 goals.

“He wore jersey number 10 at Newell's Old Boys in 1993 and I wore the same jersey number at the club in 1995. What a great honour to have met Maradona and rubbed shoulders with him. Such a great human being and may his soul rest in peace.”


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