Diego Maradona would ‘always call me’ after every big defeat, says Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho

George Flood
·2-min read
 (Getty Images For Hublot)
(Getty Images For Hublot)

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has paid glowing tribute to Diego Maradona, revealing that the Argentine icon used to call him after every big defeat he suffered as a manager.

Maradona - widely regarded as one of the best footballers in history - died on Wednesday aged 60 after suffering a heart attack in Buenos Aires, leading to an outpouring of grief from around the world.

Thousands of fans lined the streets on Thursday as the former Argentina star was laid to rest in a private ceremony after his coffin had laid in state at the presidential palace.

Such was Maradona’s enduring legend that tributes have come from across the whole of football and beyond, while Argentina are holding three days of national mourning for one of their most famous sons.

Spurs boss Mourinho added to that chorus of adulation following Tottenham’s 4-0 Europa League win over Bulgarian side Ludogorets on Thursday evening, insisting it was important that future generations did not forget arguably the beautiful game’s most gifted figure.

“Maradona and Diego. Maradona the world knows, the world will never forget,” he said, per Sky Sports. "I made sure that my son knows a lot about him, even being born after Diego Maradona as a player. And I know that my son will make sure that one day when he is a father, he will not let his kids forget who he was.

“It’s a little bit similar with my dad and [Alfredo] Di Stefano. I never saw Di Stefano play football, but my dad made sure I knew a lot about Di Stefano. Because with these generations, we have players from our generation, and Diego in my generation was what everybody knows.”

Mourinho went on to detail his own friendship with Maradona, who he says would contact him to commiserate after high-profile losses.

<p>Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho was friends with the late Diego Maradona</p>Getty Images For Hublot

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho was friends with the late Diego Maradona

Getty Images For Hublot

“Then there’s Diego the guy - and that one I miss,” he said. "I feel sorry that I didn’t spend more time with him. I think his family, his big friends, his colleagues, they are very privileged to know Diego well.

“I know him well enough. In my big defeats, he would always call me. In my victories, never. Never. I will miss Diego and of course I am very sad, but I have a smile because within every minute I spent with him was to laugh.”

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