Brazilian football great Pele remembered his fellow legend, the late Diego Maradona, on Saturday as the mercurial Argentine was recalled all around the world on his 61st birth anniversary. Three-time FIFA World Cup winner Pele took to Instagram and wrote: “God gave him the genius. The world gave him its love. Today is Diego’s Birthday. Forever, on this day, anyone who loves football will remember what he used to do with the ball. As for me, personally, I have the chance to fondly remember the beautiful friendship we had. These memories are a real gift.”
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Pele and Maradona had often vied for the title of best footballer in history. The Brazilian and Argentine were jointly named best player of the 20th century by FIFA in 2000.
Maradona died on November 25th last year after suffering a heart attack. Maradona had begun his professional career with Argentinos Juniors at the age of 16 and he went on to become one of the greatest players to ever play the game of football.
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With Boca Juniors, he won one league title; with Barcelona, he clinched one Copa del Rey, one Spanish Super Cup and one Copa de la Liga; and with Napoli, he lifted a UEFA Cup, two league titles, one Coppa Italia and one Super Cup.
With Argentina, he won the World Cup in 1986, a tournament in which he stood out, above all, in a match against England. He scored two goals, including one with his hand which went down in history as ‘the hand of God’.