Everton vs Leeds: Carlo Ancelotti moved to tears during Diego Maradona tribute


Ahead of the weekend's Premier League fixtures, clubs have been paying tribute to the legendary Diego Maradona following the news of his tragic passing on Wednesday. 

The world of football has lost an icon and matches up and down the country have been preceded by a minute's applause to pay tribute to the Argentine. 

Everton's evening kick-off against Leeds was no different and it was a particularly emotional moment for Carlo Ancelotti. 

The Italian played against Maradona on several occasions in Serie A.

The current Everton boss was playing for Roma and AC Milan when El Pibe de Oro was at his peak with Napoli. 

Ancelotti was triumphant in six of their meetings, with Napoli winning one and four matches ending in a draw. 

Regardless of those results, though, it's clear that the two men would have crossed paths many times over seven years. 

And as Everton and Leeds paid their tributes, Ancelotti could be seen fighting back tears on the touchline. He then made the sign of the cross after saying a prayer. 

Earlier this week, he had described the 1986 World Cup winner as the "best player I ever played against" and "my opponent then my friend". 

“He was very humble and it is a big loss for football, but the memories will always be there," he said, via The Guardian.

"He was a fantastic player who helped football around the world. At this time he was the best player in the world, and the best player I ever played against.


“He was so difficult to stop and had unbelievable quality. He never complained on the pitch. I tried to stop him with strong contact but he never complained and after that we became good friends.

"We met at events after our playing careers were finished and it was always good to spend time with him. He was not only a footballer but a great example to show everywhere. But this is the life. I will always keep fantastic memories of him.”

It's been a hugely difficult week for all those who knew the icon personally, as well as the millions around the world who revered him. 

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