Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Heartwarming Maradona Story

Lovely story about the Argentine infamous in England for his legendary footballing talent and gratuitous cheating in the 1986 World Cup.

Courtesy of Times Online

While Diego Maradona has maintained a rather distant and aloof presence on his first return to Scotland in 28 years, his mood lifted in one magical moment for Adam Brown, a 13-year-old ball boy, last night.

As Argentina trained at Celtic Park in preparation for the friendly with Scotland at nearby Hampden Park on Wednesday, a message on the giant electronic screens read "Celtic welcomes Diego Maradona and the team of Argentina to paradise".

But it almost turned into a nightmare for Maradona, who had misplaced a St Christopher's medallion he had been given to look after by Fernando Gago, the Real Madrid midfielder.

The stocky 48-year-old led a frantic ten minute search for the lost pendant, as his staff and a dozen ball boys - Celtic's Under-14 squad – formed a police-style cordon and walked down the pitch before Brown found the crucifix on a chain.

A joyous Maradona, who had been fairly quiet during the warm-up and a nine-a-side practice game which he refereed, whooped with delight, bounded up and embraced Brown. He then gave him his woolly hat in gratitude amid cheers from a few spectators in the stands.

"He just said thank you to me," a delighted Brown said. "I will probably frame the hat and gloves."

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