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."
Paul Gascoigne and Diego Maradona, who passed away on 25 November aged 60, 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 arrived at Sevilla in 1992 after a 15-month ban for taking cocaine ended his Serie A adventure
Gascoigne and Maradona kindred spirits
When the Liga side hosted Lazio at the Sánchez Pizjuán in an exhibition match in November 1992, Gascoigne and Maradona shared the pitch but neither was in peak shape. 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.
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