SEVILLA

When Maradona met Gazza

Before a friendly between Sevilla and Lazio, the England midfielder told the Argentina legend he wasn't entirely sober. Maradona responded: "Me neither."

El inglés Paul Gascoigne relata la conversación con Diego Maradona antes de un Sevlla-Lazio: "Le dije que había estado tres días bebiendo en Disneyland".

Paul Gascoigne and Diego Maradona were two undoubted footballing geniuses but both had their share of well-documented off-field problems. In the case of Gazza, these came to the public's attention more often than not when he was at Lazio from 1992 to 1995. A series of injuries curtailed the England midfielder's career at the Serie A side and during his layoffs he tackled weight issues and addiction problems, not unlike the Argentina legend, whose star shone brightest at Napoli but was waning by the time he rocked up at Sevilla in 1992 after serving a ban for taking cocaine. 

Gascoigne and Maradona worse for wear in Seville 

When the Liga side hosted Lazio at the Sánchez Pizjuán in an exhibition match in November 1992, Gascoigne and Maradona shared the pitch as well as a far from-standard pre-match diet. Speaking to The Athletic, Gascoigne recalled that he informed Maradona in the tunnel before the game that he was "smashed" after a "three-day bender at Disneyland. “Don’t worry, Gazza, so am I,” Maradona replied. 

Gascoigne went on to score Lazio's equaliser in the 1-1 draw and while he never fully settled at the Serie A he hit another peak at Euro 96 after signing for Rangers, scoring a goal that many consider his finest against Scotland in the group stage as England reached the semi-finals.