Fri, Jan

English defenders Terry Fenwick (left) and Kenny Sansom (right) try to stop Argentinian ace midfielder and goalgetter Diego Maradona. On the way to the title the Argentinian national team won their World Cup quarter final match against England in front of 114,600 spectators at the Aztec Stadium in Mexico City, Mexico on 22 June 1986by a final score of 2-1 with Maradona scoring both legendary goals for his team. (Photo by /picture alliance via Getty Images)

FORMER England defender and current coach of the T&T men’s football team Terry Fenwick has hailed legendary Argentine footballer Diego Maradona as the greatest ever.

Maradona, 60, died on Wednesday in Argentina after a heart attack. He was discharged from hospital weeks ago after a successful brain surgery. Arguably the greatest footballer of all time, the Argentine had health complications for a number of years.

Maradona made his full international debut at age 16, against Hungary, in 1977.

He was immortalised in world football after leading Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title in Mexico. He ended his career with 34 international goals in 91 appearances. His most memorable goal came against England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup, dribbling from his own half past several English players to score a sensational solo effort.

Fenwick, who was one of the Englishmen unable to stop Maradona that day, said on Wednesday, “I think he is the greatest that I have ever seen, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt. He (has) done everything. He was invincible.”

Fenwick added, "He was capable of doing unbelievable things. He is still on record as scoring the best-ever goal in world football, which was against England – the second goal in the 2-1 win that they had."That match also included the infamous Hand of God goal scored by Maradona. The former Argentina captain punched the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and into the net. The handball was not spotted by the referee or linesmen, and the goal stood.

Fenwick said it took him several years to let go of the bitter feelings surrounding that goal.

"The Hand of God goal where all Englishmen see him as a cheat...should not have stood, but as a player that played against him, he ruined my international career within 90 minutes that day. Not until many years later I recognised, 'Oh my God, Terry, you just played against the best player the world has ever seen in football.' And that's what he was, he was an unbelievable talent."

Fenwick added, “It is obviously a very sad day…when you’ve got somebody that is the best at their business in the world they are always controversial, and this is a guy that’s had his issues off the field, but the beauty and the talents that he presented on the field of play."

During an illustrious career, Maradona played for several prestigious clubs, including Barcelona, Napoli and Boca Juniors.

Fenwick said he transformed the clubs he represented. “He went to Barcelona that was mid-table…and he won the title. He went to Napoli, Italy that weren’t even on the map as far as football was concerned in Italy and won the title.”

SOURCE: T&T Newsday