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Sunday Oliseh admits that if you played clean against Diego Maradonna you had ‘no chance’

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Sunday Oliseh has told FourFourTwo that Diego Maradona was unplayable – if you tried to play “clean” against him.

The Nigeria legend lined up against Maradona in the 1994 World Cup for the Super Eagles, losing 2-1 in the end. This was Maradona’s last World Cup as a player and marked the first of many times that Argentina would draw Nigeria at the tournament.

Speaking almost 30 years after that match, Oliseh has told FFT just how special it was for him to compete against one of the greatest players of all time – and how sad it is that the world lost Maradona in 2020 at the age of just 60.

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Argentine professional football player Diego Armando Maradona (1960 - 2020) smiling during the 1994 FIFA World Cup Group D match Argentina vs Greece at Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, US, 21st June 1994.
Argentine professional football player Diego Armando Maradona (1960 – 2020) smiling during the 1994 FIFA World Cup Group D match Argentina vs Greece at Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, US, 21st June 1994.

“It was weird when Maradona passed – I felt strange the whole day,” Oliseh tells FFT. “Diego gave so much joy to people during his life, especially to his countrymen. He took football to a whole new level.

“Playing against him was awesome, and somehow it still hurts when you see images of him, to think that he has gone and at such a young age – just 60. Diego gave everything to the beautiful game.”

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It begs the question – how would one have got the better of such a legendary forward on the field?

“If you decided to play clean against him, you had no chance – he seemed to have eyes in the back of his head,” Oliseh reveals. “The only way to trouble him was to be aggressive.

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“Despite his stature, he had superb ability: one slight movement and he was gone. Diego was special like few other players have been.”

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