Reaction from club managers to the death of Maradona
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Reaction from club managers to the death of Maradona

The world of football is still in mourning after the death of legend Diego Maradona and below is a selection of quotes from top-flight club managers following his demise:

Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso

“The greatest regret I have is probably the fact that I can’t tell my children I played against Maradona. For sure he would have dribbled past me or maybe something worse, but I regret it.

“He died, but Diego will never die, especially in this city (Napoli) because this city was lucky enough to have him. He changed the history of Italian football because for a long time the championship was played between Turin and Milan teams.

“Here he was more than a player. He was someone who always said reasonable things and was the pride of the city.”

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

“Diego Maradona will always be the best player I have seen live. Saw him play for Argentina against Norway in Oslo. They lost 1-0. Stood outside and touched his shoulder.

“Had the pleasure of meeting him at Old Trafford. Unbelievable talent. Smile when you saw him. Best there has been.”

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard

“Diego Maradona was my idol growing up. He was a person who was the player on the world stage that made me fall in love with the game. He is a footballing god.”

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti

“I have a good memory of him. He was an opponent and then he became a friend. I always liked him as a person and it’s a big loss for football. He was the best player I ever played against.”

On the ‘Hand of God’: “I think it was handball. But you cannot explain Maradona with the handball. That World Cup he practically won on his own.”

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

“The best through my lifetime. Maybe it is not right anymore because I have seen Cristiano (Ronaldo) and Lionel (Messi) many times now as well. In my own playing career, he was the standout player.

“His life I think shows how nice and how difficult life can be when you are a world-class footballer.

“I met him once. For a player of my level meeting him was like meeting the Pope.”

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa

“He was for us, and will continue to be, an idol. Given the fact he is not here with us anymore brings us great sadness. Having lost an idol, it’s something that makes us feel weak.

“Maradona was an artist. To give one example that stands out: the songs written about him are extraordinary and I read 10 texts after his death that have been emotional.

“I don’t recall where I was (when I watched the ‘Hand of God’ goal) but the expression of a work of art is something that you can’t put to too many things. When you see a beautiful church you are taken back, this was a similar feeling I had when Diego scored.”

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Graham Potter

“He was and is an iconic figure in football. I remember watching him in the 1986 World Cup and it was an amazing experience as an 11-year-old.

“It was like seeing football in a completely different way. He was amazing and of course, thoughts go out to his family. What a life he led, what a legend he is.”

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce

“Whenever he was on the TV and any game he was involved in, I would tune in to watch him. It’s a sadness that we’ve lost a great, great footballer. Maradona was simply the best.”