Palacios: I played against Maradona


Former Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs head coach Augusto 'Njenje' Palacios has revealed how he was presented with a rare opportunity to share the field with the late football great Diego Maradona.

The Argentinian legend was recently laid to rest after he succumbed to illness.

"I was in Hong Kong to play for the team Caroline Hill and every season the federation selects the Best XI of foreigners in the league, then I was selected to play against Boca Juniors," Palacios tells

"We played against him in 1981, 1982, [again] in 1993 I went to Argentina when SAFA was invited for the celebration of the 100 years of the federation AFA. Then I had an opportunity to talk to him face to face for almost 15 minutes together with [Gabriel] Batistuta, the great striker.

"The new generation never saw Diego play. Great player, unbelievable skill and intelligence. He played locally for Boca Juniors, national team, [received] international awards and coached Argentina in the World Cup.

"Maradona, simple, no player can compare. Only problem his private life and friends kill him with wrong life because if a person calls you my best friend he can't give to you alcohol, cigarettes, drugs... he selected wrong people next to him. He killed his football and family. It's a learning for the rest of people.

"But in football, fantastic. I was proud and happy to play against him and talk to share football. Rest in peace."

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