Ajax star Nicolas Tagliafico mimics Diego Maradona’s iconic 1989 UEFA Cup semi-final warm up before Champions League clash in special tribute to the Argentine great following his death aged 60
Ajax star Nicolas Tagliafico paid a special tribute to the late Argentine great Diego Maradona by mimicking his iconic pre-game warm up before his side’s Champions League clash with FC Midtjylland.
Maradona, who passed away on Wednesday from a heart attack aged 60, wowed fans inside the Olympiastadio stadium in Berlin before the 1989 UEFA Cup semi-final as he danced around, juggled the ball and balanced it on his head with extraordinary ease during the warm up.
The Argentina legend oozed class as he showed off his silky skills while ‘Live is Life’ by Opus blared around the ground before helping eventual UEFA Cup winners Napoli reach the final following a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich.
Nicolas Tagliafico (L) paid tribute to Diego Maradona by mimicking his iconic warm-up routine
Tagliafico, who is an Argentina international, paid homage to Maradona by dancing around, shaking his legs out on the spot and performing keepie-ups to the same music just like the footballing great had done all those years ago.
His effort lacked a few flashy touches and was not quite exquisitely executed as the mystifying Maradona – with Tagliafico even letting out a wry smile to his team-mates in concession – but it was a touching tribute to a man who will be remembered as one of the greatest ever players to grace the game.
A minute’s silence was also observed for Maradona before Ajax’s Group D game as well as at other Champions League matches on Wednesday night.
Tagliafico, who had noticeably looked emotional during the minute’s silence for his compatriot, played the whole 90 minutes to help Ajax record a 3-1 victory.
The same music which played when Maradona warmed up in 1989 was playing on Wednesday
Maradona oozed class as he showed off his silky skills before helping Napoli reach the final
Maradona celebrates after Napoli’s 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in Berlin sent them through
Maradona’s death on Wednesday had rocked the football world with the former World Cup winner only just leaving hospital two weeks ago after having surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain.
Maradona won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986, having knocked England out in the quarter final with the infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal and another – later voted ‘Goal of the Century.’
Millions of tributes came flooding in from around the world on Wednesday following Maradona’s sudden death.
Argentina president Alberto Fernandez declared three days of mourning after he died in Buenos Aires.
‘You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all,’ the leader tweeted. ‘Thanks for having existed, Diego. We will miss you for a lifetime.’
LAST PICTURE: Maradona’s death on Wednesday came just weeks after he underwent surgery on a blood clot in his brain (pictured), and less than a month after he turned 60
Argentina footballing legend Maradona (pictured lifting the World Cup in 1986) will be remembered as one of the greatest ever players to grace the game