Carrasco spent over a decade at Barcelona, during which he played with Maradona for his two years at the club. Maradona joined the Catalans after the 1982 World Cup, which was held in Spain, before returning to La Liga in 1992 to play for Sevilla.
His time in Spain both preceded and followed his peak, which saw him dominate Italian football with Napoli and almost single-handedly win the World Cup with Argentina in Mexico in 1986.
For Carrasco, who, just a year older than Maradona, was close to him during his spell at Camp Nou, the Argentine was without parallel, and if he had underwent his adaptation period to European football at another club other than Barcelona he’s convinced he would have been a success at Camp Nou.
“Like the whole world of football, including our beloved ball, I mourn Maradona,” Carrasco wrote in Mundo Deportivo. “The beauty of my story is that I met Diego.
“A Diego who, when he landed in Barcelona, was introverted, humble, observant and smiling. Maradona was still far away at that point, but Diego dominated with his youth and his desire to conquer the world.
“He didn’t reach the top at Barcelona but he had undoubted quality and an indecipherable dribbling imagination, and would later execute sporting revenge by showing at Napoli what he couldn’t here.
“Maradona beat Berlusconi’s Milan and made the poor of Naples rich, but there came a time when Diego could not longer hold Maradona and his problems became increasingly difficult.
“But for us, his players, he loved us and treated us like his own family. He showed it in Argentina, in Barcelona, in Italy and everywhere else in the world he ever spent time. He was loyal and honourable.
“I’ve always stated that if Diego had gone through another team or adaptation in Europe first, I’m convinced he would have built a great team at Barcelona.
“His work was rooted in the street, and he dedicated hours every day until he finally learned all the secrets of the ball. She kept him excited and alive until yesterday.”
Featured image courtesy of El Periodico.