Diego Maradona miraculously managed to complete 90 minutes in last night’s Peace Match in Rome and despite his somewhat rotund appearance and snails-pace movement there were some flashes of magic from the 53-year-old. Setting up the opening two goals for youngster, Juan Iturbe and Italian legend, Roberto Baggio, Maradona was pulling the strings for Javier Zanetti’s side in the interreligious match organised to promote peace. Mauro Icardi’s introduction for the opposing side changed the match, as the Inter Milan youngster scored a hattrick and helped his team to a 6-3 win. This did not sit well with Maradona who revisited his objection to Icardi’s involvement, “Icardi should not have played this match, due to a decision we had taken. We have to talk with the organisers.” Laughably, Maradona’s grievance is on moral grounds given that Icardi is now married to Maxi Lopez’s former wife. Oh the irony.
The teams lined up initially –
For Scholas Occurentes, an educational group launched by the Pope: Gianluigi Buffon; Hugo Campagnaro, Nicola Legrottaglie, Walter Samuel, Gabriel Heinze; Javier Mascherano, Roberto Baggio, Radja Nainggolan, Diego Maradona, Ricky Alvarez; Juan Iturbe.
For the Pupi Foundation, an Argentine charity founded by the former Inter Milan midfielder Javier Zanetti: Fernando Muslera; Javier Zanetta, Diego Lugano, Iván Córdoba, José Chamot; Cristian Ledesma, Diego Simeone, Alessandro Del Piero, Carlos Valderrama; Ivan Zamorano and David Trezeguet.