Friday 25 November 2022, 14:00

FIFA President joins CONMEBOL and Argentina World Cup winners in celebrating Diego Maradona

  • Members of Argentina's 1978 and 1986 FIFA World Cup winning teams take part in tribute

  • Maradona passed away on 25 November, 2020

  • FIFA President wants to dedicate one day in future World Cups to celebrate Diego

FIFA President Gianni Infantino joined CONMEBOL, its President Alejandro Domínguez and members of Argentina's two FIFA World Cup winning teams in paying tribute to Diego Maradona on the second anniversary of the legendary player's passing. He also suggested that, in future FIFA World Cup tournaments, a day be set aside to celebrate Diego Maradona's achievements. The event was organised by CONMEBOL at its dedicated complex in central Doha, where it has also planted a symbolic tree called the Tree of Dreams. The Argentina champions included Sergio Batista, Jorge Valdano, Oscar Ruggeri, Jorge Burruchaga, Ricardo Bochini, Nery Pumpido, Ricardo Giusti and Héctor Enrique, who were Maradona's team mates in 1986, and Ubaldo Fillol, Alberto Tarantini, Ricardo Villa, Daniel Bertoni, Omar Larrosa and Mario Kempes from 1978. "Diego is immortal, Diego is with us," said the FIFA President. "We should not only pay tribute, but also celebrate Diego. In fact, I would like that from now on, in every World Cup, we should have a day to celebrate Diego Armando Maradona. Because, what this man did to make people fall in love with football, with our sport........very, very few, perhaps nobody else, did what he did."

Gianni Infantino recalled that he had brought Diego Maradona closer to FIFA. "I am very happy and proud that after our arrival in football, with Alejandro (Dominguez) and ourselves, Diego came back to us again. He was with us in the World Cup in Russia, and I have had the honour of speaking to him personally, of meeting him sometimes, of creating a relationship of friendship." President Infantino said that Diego Maradona had a "sincerity and unique charisma." "He used to say things, sometimes very simple, but with a huge impact," he recalled. Describing Diego Maradona as a great leader in Argentina and South America, he added: "We would’ve liked to be here with Diego at this World Cup, all of us. But Diego is in all our hearts, and I would like to once again congratulate all those champions who are here to share this emotional moment. Long live Diego."