Oscar Ruggeri’s greeting to Diego Maradona, from emotion and laughter to a resounding “no” to Julio Grondona

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“Happy birthday, captain with all the letters,” said the former defender with the shirt with which they were champions in Mexico 86.

Oscar Ruggeri is one more Maradonian, who had the merit and the luck of being by his side at the best moment in the rich history of Diego Armando Maradona. And the pigheaded, wearing the 1986 World Cup Mexico jersey and true to his style, he greeted the best of all time on his ESPN program.

“What would I say if I had him in front of him? Armando … because I called him that. Armando, happy birthday, captain with all the letters. As people, as a guy, as a teammate,” the former player began.

“If you had to eat chicken, you would eat chicken. If there was nothing, nothing. If it was salad, salad. It was one more,” Ruggeri started, making his companions excited and laugh.

And he remembered the pose of Ten in the photos of the team, in which he almost always stood next to him. “In all the photos we are like this. He stood on tiptoe, look at his adductors …” he recalled.

Ruggeri and Maradona came out champions of Metropolitano 81 with Boca, suffered at the same time by the defeat in the final of Italy 90 and by the enormous disappointment of the United States 94, when a Fluff “they cut off his legs. “But the indelible memory of Mexico 86 will be a bond that will bind them forever.

The former defender also reviewed when Maradona was coach of the National Team and wanted him to be his assistant in South Africa 2010. And he pigheaded, such a showman, He told how Julio Grondona prevented him from joining Diego’s coaching staff.

“I called Grondona and he says: ‘I’ll wait for you at the gas station’. I go with the truck as well and 200 meters I see people running, security types. I arrive and the station was locked for security. They put me in one of those boxes that change your oil and I said: ‘I shit in here’“, started the story of the meeting.

And he continued: “I arrived and they put me in a small room. And he comes with watery eyes and tells me: ‘What harm did you do to me … you don’t understand that you were like a son to me’. I tell him: ‘Well, Julio, if you leave me out of everything’“.

So far it seemed that everything was going smoothly and that the then president of the AFA was going to give him the go-ahead to accompany Maradona. But nevertheless…

‘Well, let’s do this … Diego wants you to be his assistant, so go over there. But with one condition: You get to concentration and you have to kick Mancuso‘”, said the pigheaded what Grondona told him.

“I tell him: ‘Are you carrying me? You don’t want me to go, it’s crazy what you ask of me ‘. Apart from codes I couldn’t do it. If Diego chose it … “, Ruggeri closed the anecdote.


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