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Sports News of Monday, 4 May 2020

Source: Ghana Soccernet

Derek Boateng reveals how he won a famous shirt from the iconic Diego Maradona

Ex-Ghana international Derek Boateng has revealed how he won a shirt from the iconic World football star Diego Armando Maradona.

It was an unforgettable moment in Boateng's footballing career after meeting his icon Maradona.

The 1986 World Cup winner is rated as one of the greatest players to grace football due to his exploits at the Argentina national team.

Boateng, who was a key member of Ghana’s team at the 2001 FIFA U20 World Cup in Argentina really adores the Argentine football "god".

The 36-year-old narrates how he got a famous shirt and got into contact with the iconic Maradona.

"Against Iran [in the group stage] when I scored, I removed my jersey and I had a Maradona shirt under. I have been asked a lot of questions about where I got the shirt," Boateng told Goal.com

"The day before the game, I was in my hotel room and I got a call from the reception that a lady was looking for me. She was an Argentine, a white woman. I was not expecting anyone so I didn’t go. She stayed on and waited for about four, five hours, so I was called again and I asked that she be allowed to come in."

"She knocked at my door and introduced herself as a journalist from Argentina, and that she wanted to give me this [parcel]. She said I should work hard and this man’s [Maradona’s] spirit will follow me. I removed the wrapper and saw that it was a Maradona shirt, so I since started wearing it under my jerseys in all my games."

"Whenever I scored, I remove my jersey and showed the Maradona under-shirt. Because of that, all Argentina loves me. We [Ghana U20 team at the tournament] were all looking forward to meeting Maradona in person but we couldn’t. We watched his interview where he said he was also supporting Ghana at the tournament."

The ex-Black Stars midfielder could not hide his excitement after seeing his football idol talk about him.

"After the tournament, my agent sent me a Spanish newspaper reporting Maradona talking about me. I was so happy."

"That day even during training, I couldn’t wait to get back to the dressing room just to have a look at the newspaper for another time. I kept the newspaper for so long but now I, unfortunately, can’t find it anymore. I was so happy Maradona spoke about me."

Boateng also opened up on how he first came into contact with Maradona after years of trying to get in touch with him.

"I had the chance to meet him [Maradona] when I was playing for Getafe. I was coming from national duty in Germany and I saw him in the flight, sitting right in front of me in the business class,"

"After the plane took off, I approached him, introduced myself, he was happy and he hugged me and we took a picture. But I lost the phone. I met the only man I wanted to meet in football and he hugged me."

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