Diego Armando Maradona († 60), the best footballer in the world at the time (for many he is still today), played with Napoli in the Uefa Cup at the end of 1989 against the footballers of the Aargau provincial club FC Wettingen (now 2nd Interregional League).
Sad message: Diego Maradona († 60) is dead!(00:37)
Zurich was in a state of emergency days before. A few weeks before their wedding, Maradona and his then fiancée Claudia Villafane have enough time for extensive shopping trips in the city on the Limmat. On Bahnhofstrasse, the “Hand of God” buys ten (!) Wristwatches. Today it is unimaginable that a screened mega-star like Messi, Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo in a tracksuit and together with his girlfriend visits the jewelry and watch shops of the host city like tourists before a European Cup away game. Maradona can do it!
When Maradona comes, a murmur goes through the crowd
The evening before the game. The professionals of FC Zurich sit as spectators in the stands. You are amazed at building blocks. The “Landklübli” FC Wettingen invites you to the final training. And FCW boss Hubert Stöckli († 2010), who among other things made his money with slot machines and was nicknamed “Automaten-Hubi”, charges 10 (!) Francs for training. Not because of the FCW-Kicker Stiel, Rueda or Germann. No, the world stars of SSC Napoli train on the lawn before the European Cup first leg. The Brazilians Careca and Alemão, the Italians Carnevale and De Napoli. But one thing is still missing. Maradona, the Argentine world champion. «Dieguito» comes onto the green several minutes late. He did not tie the laces of his kicks. A murmur goes through the crowd. Maradona grabs a ball and starts a juggling insert – with open shoes. Ruedi Landolt, captain of the FCZ, gasps and says to BLICK: “I think we have the wrong job.” For the game, Stöckli charges 100 francs for the seat. An astronomical sum at the time. The FCW takes 2 million. Stöckli at the time: “With our pricing policy for this match, we hardly have to consider anyone. At our last home game at Altenburg we had 2900 spectators, 1500 of them paid. ” The picture that Stöckli was allowed to shoot with his obligatory broom (he often wiped his coaches away) and Maradona will also remain unforgettable. Today it would be a selfie.
Everyone wants to see Diego
Hard to believe. The Wettinger, a month earlier because of the hunt for scandal referee Klötzli in the headlines, wrestle the world stars of SSC Napoli 0-0 in the first leg in Zurich. In the middle is the native Spaniard Martin Rueda (57). The later YB, Lausanne, Wohlen and Wil trainer is Wettingen captain at the time. And recently remembers in BLICK: «Immediately after the draw, an unbelievable hype began. It was a completely different world for us. That was not due to Maradona alone, with Careca and Gianfranco Zola they had other top players. “
Rueda can hardly save himself from ticket inquiries from colleagues. Everyone wants to see Maradona. Rueda then meets the Napoli captain for a handshake: “We talked a little in Spanish and wished we had a good game.”
Fans storm the streets
Then Rueda retires to the then classic libero position. Jan Svensson takes care of the man marking of Maradona. After the sensational 0-0, Diego swaps the dress with Rueda: “I got his red jersey with the Mars advertisement.” Does the exclusive piece of fabric have a place of honor in the house of the five-time Swiss national team player? Rueda: “I don’t even know where that is at home. I must have misplaced it! “
The second leg is in a chartered private jet, through Naples with a frenzied police escort. Thousands of hot-blooded fans line the streets. Everyone, including grandmas, gave the Swiss (and the journalists on the bus behind them) their finger on the way to the hotel!
But the nobodies from Wettingen bring the stars to the brink of elimination, Napoli benefits from an offside goal and a swallow penalty in the 2: 1. No wonder, the newspapers write afterwards of the “Fraud on All Saints Day”!