Top team talks
- 24 Jun 06, 03:41 PM
STUTTGART STATION - Talking of celebrity spotting, the other night I was three rows away from one of the greatest footballers of all time. Maradona sparked a flash bulb frenzy when he popped into the commentary stand to do spot of TV punditry at the Spain Tunisia match.
The media and press are obviously used to seeing big names at games but in the presence of a legend, they flocked to row W10. There was the stocky one, his barrel chest bursting his Argentina shirt. He talked animatedly about the game, gesticulating like an Italian chef. Unfortunately, I couldn’t understand a word he was saying.
He was sporting some heavy duty jewellery round his neck, reminiscent of Mr T from the A-Team. It looked to be weighing him a down a bit. I felt honoured to be so near to a talent so great. Diego still has to wear his world cup accreditation though – you’d think his face would pass in but no, here in Deutschland - even Beckenbauer has to wear his accreditation.
Early on in the tournament, all the talk was that Argentina had a 12th man in the dressing room. Their legendary No10 was a cheerleader in the opening 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast.
The defender Roberto Ayala said "Imagine being with him before a game, in the dressing room, giving the pep talk. You go on the field feeling different when you hear the words and get support from the best player in the world."
It made me think that perhaps some of the other teams here could do with more fire in their belly before a big match. In England's case it would be handy at half time.
I was talking to the 1966 world cup winning Alan Ball the other day and to hear him talk about the pride of playing for England, the passion of the three lions – perhaps the players need some of that before a knock out game.
So fans from across the globe, which former players would give your team the best team talk?