Maradona Influenced My Career – Former Super Eagles Midfielder Sunday Oliseh

Former Super Eagles player, Sunday Oliseh, has reminisced about his encounter with Argentina late football legend, Diego Maradona.

Oliseh, who would later coach the Nigerian national side, was in 1994 saddled with the herculean task of checkmating Maradona when Argentina and Nigeria clashed at the FIFA World Cup held in USA.

The game was Maradona’s last for the Albiceleste.

Speaking of the encounter and Maradona’s impact on the game and his career, Oliseh recalled that the late footballer “seemed to have eyes at the back of his head”.

According to Oliseh, playing against the diminutive Argentine “you could always notice that he had something that no other player I’d ever seen in my lifetime, had. The way he touched the ball – he didn’t really touch it, it was like he was massaging the ball. Trying to get the ball out of him was really difficult.”

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He added that the game had a huge influence on his career path.

Expressing sadness at Maradona’s demise, Oliseh said, “it is the kind of death you don’t think should happen. It is not the time for it. It is somehow painful in a way I can’t really explain.”

The World Cup winner, who recently celebrated his 60th birthday, died on November 25, 2020, in Buenos Aires. He had been serving as head coach for Argentine Primera Division side Gimnasia de la Plata but was hospitalised with a blood clot in the brain at the start of November.

He was admitted to La Plata clinic on November 2 after complaining of fatigue and low spirits, with representatives for the star maintaining that the condition was not serious.

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He was recuperating at his home near Tigre in northern Buenos Aires where he experienced cardiac arrest and died.


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