David Olaoye had more reason than most to be upset when Diego Maradona died in November last year.
Last summer the 24-year-old was promised an audience with the legendary Argentine when he next came to Buenos Aires by someone close to the club he was managing, Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata.
You wonder how the conversation would have gone between two players who link England and Argentina. Maradona, of course, knocked the Three Lions out of the 1986 World Cup in controversial fashion with the ‘Hand of God’ and the Goal of the Century.
But Olaoye has his own connection to Argentina. He is the first – and so far only – English professional to have played there.
“I was buzzing,” he said of the possibility of meeting Maradona. “Meeting him would have been something else because very few people get to do that.
“I even did an interview in Argentina where they asked me what I thought about him and if people had forgiven him about the handball. I said no, but he’s still a great player!
“I would have loved to meet Maradona. But I said to my brother last year, ‘I need to go to Argentina before something happens to him and he just goes like that’.
“It was definitely a sad day for all Argentines and for people who are connected to the country when he died.”
Olaoye is a footballing globetrotter. He has spent most of his fledgling career abroad – with spells in Greece, Slovenia, Norway and now the Czech Republic – but it is clear Argentina is the country he feels the most fondness for.
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Featured image courtesy of David Olaoye