Buenos Aires, 10 November 2001:
THE MARADONA TRIBUTE MATCH

PHOTO GALLERY!

We cried. We saw Diego in the Bombonera, greeting the fans of Boca, but also every other football lover in the world. It is a feeling that each of us keeps in his heart, and claiming to express this emotion with a few lines is impossible. The Bombonera, this "temple of football" as Maradona said, celebrated and was filled with joy. There were 60.000 fans at the stadium, but the ones who felt to be there were millions. The fathers took their children to see Maradona for the first time, all these children who had only seen his legend on a tape, now had the chance to see with their eyes this creator of joy, this man who can generate passion throughout the whole world of football. It was "el día de Diego". November 10, 2001. A day to keep among the best memories of our lives.

What a fantastic "fiesta"

In a full Bombonera, Diego played again wearing the "camiseta 10" of Argentina. He also scored two goals on penalties. For the International Stars there were Francescoli, Riquelme, Stoichkov, Careca, Ferrara and Valderrama among the others. The final result was 6-3, with goals by López, Aimar (2), Maradona (2),  and Castromán. Suker, Cantoná and Higuita, on penalty, scored for the Stars. Pelé was also at the Bombonera to attend the match. A real "fiesta". More than 50.000 people were at the Bombonera, and it was a great day with high emotion. At the beginning, the first tears, when Diego entered the field with his daughters Dalma and Giannina and with one of his nephews. After Diego, there were in a line all the Argentina team and the International Stars. "Diegoooo, Diegooooo", the people were singing at the Bombonera.

 

 Diego kissed his daughters and with some tears on his face went to greet his wife Claudia and his parents Don Diego and Doña Tota.Then it was time to introduce the players, but the fans were only thinking of Maradona and the chorus "Diegoooo, Diegooooo" was becoming stronger and stronger.
The party started a few minutes before 3pm, with the songs played by Los Piojos and by Los Ratones Paranóicos. Both groups playes their songs dedicated to Maradona: "Maradó" and "Para siempre Diego". Then, it was time for the Argentina national anthem sung by Luciano Pereyra and by the whole Bombonera, with the players already on the field.



 
 



Bu the real event was the match... it started at 4pm. The Selección Argentina, led by Marcelo Bielsa, with Diego as captain, plays against a team of International Stars, with Francescoli, Riquelme, Stoichkov, Careca, Ferrara, Valderrama among the others.

Argentina won 6-3, but the result did not matter at all... people just enjoyed the fiesta. Anyway, we must underline the good performance by Francescoli, Riquelme, the great goal by Davor Suker, and the entertainment given by the colombian goalkeeper René Higuita who did his famous "scorpion move" and received the celebration from the whole stadium.

And Diego? He always asked for the ball and played a lot in the game, giving a couple of great passes and a few great goal chances for López. Of course, Diego does not have anymore the physical skill needed to play at high levels, but his talent is still intact and the touch of his left foot always magic.

 


But Diego socred the goals, both on penalties. He shot both tims in the same way, soft, with high class, near the left post. The legend René Higuita went to the other side both times. Gol de Maradona! And a long-awaited celebration: he took his Argentina jersey off and started spinning it over his head and then... the surprise... below he had the Boca jersey, the one he received from Riquelme, with the number 10. "Diegoooo, Diegooooo", started again and was a continuous chorus until the end of the match.

The party finished in the same way it had started: with real emotion. Fireworks, more songs and Diego who, after crying in front of the Boca fans, resumed playing again for HIS people. There was such a high emotion that many of the other players who were there started crying. For football, for the happiness, for this emotional match... Gracias, Diego.










 

ARGENTINA-REST OF THE WORLD 6-3

MARCATORI : 16' pt Claudio Lopez (A), 30' pt Suker (R), 7' st Aimar (A), 17' st Maradona (A, pen.), 32' st Castroman (A), 35' st Cantona (R), 38' st Aimar (A), 41' st Higuita (R), 45' st Maradona (A, pen).

 

ARGENTINA (3-5-2): Burgos (1' st Cavallero); Ayala (1' st Castroman), Sorin (1' Pochettino), Samuel (1' st Placente); Aimar, Almeyda (1' st Husain), Zanetti (1' st Cruz), Veron (1' st Berizzo), Kily Gonzalez; Maradona; Claudio Lopez. Ct. Marcelo Bielsa

REST OF THE WORLD (4-4-2):
O. Cordoba (1' st Carini, 15' st Higuita); Ferrara, Bermudez, Gamarra, I. Cordoba (1' st Matthaeus); Solano, Riquelme (1' st Rodriguez), Francescoli (1' st Recoba, 15' st Aguilera), Valderrama (30' st Stoichkov); Suker (20' st Careca), Stoichkov (1' st Cantona). Ct. Alfio Basile

NOTES : attendance 55.000.