Much of the football world have been united recently in giving tributes to Diego Maradona.
Maradona, one of the greatest footballers of all time, passed away last week at the age of 60 at his home in Buenos Aires after suffering a heart attack.
Perhaps the most touching and personal of these tributes was the one delivered by Lionel Messi, a man many consider to be Maradona’s greatest rival for the title of the best ever.
Both are Argentine, with Messi having played under Maradona for the national team between 2008 and 2010. Both played for Barcelona and, for a brief spell, Newell’s Old Boys.
Maradona made a handful of appearances for the Rosario club during the 1993/94 season, while Messi began his career there before leaving for Barcelona aged 13. It’s within this context that Messi’s tribute was birthed.
After scoring Barcelona’s fourth goal in the 4-0 victory over Osasuna on Sunday afternoon he lifted his shirt to reveal that beneath he had a number ten Newell’s shirt from the season Maradona spent there.
Messi was fined for the action however, and now former Barcelona president Joan Gaspart has spoken of his outrage at the decision in comments carried by Diario AS, saying that he wants to pay the €600 on Messi’s behalf.
“I do not rule out sending €600 to the RFEF and telling them that I’m paying the fine they have given Leo for showing the shirt,” he said. “I will explain why, because of the tremendous love I had for Diego Armando Maradona and the love I have for Leo Messi. It’s not fair.”
Featured image courtesy of Goal.