Bernd Schuster joined Barcelona from Koln in 1980. He went on to spend eight years at Camp Nou before leaving for Real Madrid in 1988, spending two years at the Santiago Bernabeu before switching to cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid in 1990. He returned to Germany with Bayer Leverkusen three years later in 1993.
Schuster won La Liga once with Barcelona and twice with Madrid, and won the Copa del Rey six times across his three Spanish clubs. He was also part of a Barcelona team that won the European Cup Winner’s Cup in 1982.
The summer after that European triumph, Barcelona made quite an interesting acquisition; they signed a certain Diego Maradona from Boca Juniors. Maradona had just endured a frustrating 1982 World Cup in Spain, getting himself sent off against Brazil as Argentine crashed out in the second round.
But he was still being lauded as the most exciting player in world football and his arrival at Camp Nou, for a world record fee, was greeted with much fanfare. And while things didn’t work out for Maradona in Catalonia, he did have his moments. As for Schuster, he quickly befriended Barcelona’s star signing.
“Diego and I were the same age” Schuster told LaLigaTV. “I had seen him play some games and loved how he played and as a person, we easily connected. The first look, the first handshake, the first pass in training… We knew we were friends.”
The German also shared a room with the Argentine during their time together, although he quickly realised Maradona and himself weren’t exactly ideal roommates due to their different lifestyles.
“We talked a lot about football,” he said. “It’s true the key was that I was someone who liked going to bed early, then getting up early but Diego wasn’t. He was someone who liked staying up late and sleeping later in the morning. We respected each other, but in the long term, rooming together never worked well.”
LaLigaTV’s Talking Football episode with legendary ex-Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid midfielder Bernd Schuster airs exclusively on LaLigaTV at 20:00 GMT this evening.