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Fenwick: Maradona was ‘undoubtedly the greatest to ever play the game’

Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick extended condolences to iconic Argentina football star Diego Armando Maradona, who passed away today at the age of 60.

Maradona, a 1986 World Cup winner who twice broke the world record as the most expensive footballer, died of a heart attack in Argentina.

Photo: Argentina legend Diego Maradona gets intimate with the FIFA World Cup trophy in 1986.
(Copyright AFP 2014)

Maradona shared the field with Fenwick at the 1986 tournament in Mexico, and scored twice to eliminate England 2-1 in the quarterfinal round. His first goal, punched in with his hand, is arguably the World Cup’s most infamous item.

His second strike, when he dribbled past half of the England team—including Fenwick—before finishing, remains the most memorable moment in the game.

“Today is an extremely sad day for world football,” Fenwick told the TTFA Media. “I would like to extend condolences to Diego’s family, his friends and all of his former teammates, especially all the guys who were on the field that day in ’86.

“I can recall it like yesterday. It is one of the matches and moments that never leaves you. For me, he was undoubtedly the greatest to ever play the game and certainly the best I have ever encountered.

Photo: Argentina legend Diego Maradona (centre) is about to drag the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton (right) while defenders Terry Butcher (far left) and Terry Fenwick (second from left) look on.
(Copyright AFP 2014)

“As much as we were steaming mad about the [first] goal that was allowed and the fact that we lost and had to pack our bags after that game, we were all in awe of what he was capable of—what he did generally in that game and the tournament as a whole. It was just pure genius.

“Indeed a privilege to share the same pitch and come up against such a unique figure. RIP Diego.”

In 2000, Fifa created a one-off award to determine the greatest player of the last century. On 11 December, they announced that the honour would be shared between Brazil legend Pelé and Maradona, after the Argentine topped the internet poll while the Brazilian garnered more votes from Fifa’s ‘football family’ of officials, journalists and coaches—who they commissioned to weigh in on the subject after the online referendum went Maradona’s way.

Apart from World Cup titles as youth and senior level with Argentina, Maradona is fondly remembered for memorable, title-winning stints with Boca Juniors and Napoli, while he also won the Copa Del Rey, Copa de la Liga and Supercopa de España with Barcelona.

Photo: Argentina captain Diego Maradona holds the attention of half the Belgium team during a clash at the 1982 World Cup.
(Copyright Steve Powell via Getty Images)

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3 comments

  1. Give Maradona his flowers. However, if Fenwick thinks he is the GOAT, then He lacks a sense of the history of the game, and T&T national team is in trouble.

    • Earl Best

      Nah. He’s well within his rights to THINK so.

      If he says he HAS NO DOUBT, THEN serious questions arise. Edson “Pele” Arantes do Nascimento does not come into the reckoning? Or is clearly not as good?

      But T&T football is in trouble anyway, not because of his opinions or his competence but because of his know-it-all attitude.

      Watch and see.

      • Hannibal Najjar

        Shit Earl – please excuse meh, S _ _ _ reference – you hit the nail ALMOST on the head. But because it is a headless nail, I pardon you for the near total miss.

        This was your comment –
        Earl Best Friday 27 November 2020 at 6:08 pm

        “Nah. He’s well within his rights to THINK so.
        If he says he HAS NO DOUBT, THEN serious questions arise. Edson “Pele” Arantes do Nascimento does not come into the reckoning? Or is clearly not as good?
        But T&T football is in trouble anyway, not because of his opinions or his competence but because of his know-it-all attitude.
        Watch and see”.

        I believe, like you that NO ONE can surpass the unquestionable Pele…. NO ONE. But do I believe that there is a certain ONE, the messiah, Lionel Messi, and there might be another certain other in the future that can sit and sup with Garnd Master, Edson “Pele” Arantes do Nascimento. Just as you can never have anyone surpass the best of the best cricketer in Sir Garfield Sobers, but you can squeeze a Don Bradman, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara in that category, even to some extent a Dennis Lillee and Imran Khan, and mayyybeee, a Ian Botham, but at no time or with any case presented, can you EVER surpass the dazzling genius, brilliance, and style and that engaging smile of Sir. Garfield Sobers. Even, his name rings the sweetest.
        I believe that Terry Fenwick would have chosen Diego over anyone simply because he was “butted” by Maradona enroute to that mega-run-goal in a World Cup.
        I think Terry wants to be remembered as Malcolm Nash does for his sis sixes bowling against Sir Garfield. Remember Nash’s comments following that historic whipping – when “The legendary West Indies all-rounder was playing for Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan at St Helen’s and his bowling victim was Welsh bowler Malcolm Nash.” Nash describes his encounter with Mr. Cavalier himself – “When you are playing against the best player of all time, all you want to do is try and get him out and that is what I tried to do.
        “Other bowlers have been struck for six sixes, but have not had the same attention.
        “It was five minutes of my life that has been talked about now for 50 years.”

        So, Earl, you hare an Earl in your own rights for calling out Terry for what he has said and about to do. I praise for three reasons – the first is because I was a student of your brother, Lloyd and his wizardry in Economics while at UWI and respect in politics. 2. Because you graced the halls of the second best Secondary school in the country, QRC and 3. Because you are a clean-cut and honest person that I like, can take counsel from, and by the way….., you were quite a decent footballer.

        I would like to write more about the prospects for our football as set out sights on the TW leadership. Maybe, I will!