Location: Beijing, Olympic Green Hockey Field
Maradona at a hockey pitch?
What on earth has Maradona to do with the Olympics? Okay he is one of the 5 best soccer players of all time (together with, not necessarily in that order, Cruyff, Pele, Messi and Ronaldo). Well, Maradona, we did not know, is a huge fan of…Aymar.
Luciana Aymar, queen of hockey during her long career, won all major individual prices (8 times FIH play of the year award!) but not an Olympic golden medal. She is considered the best female hockey player of all time. She had the misfortune to be leading the Argentinian hockey ladies in a period that the Netherlands did win all major trophies. However, in the period 2010-2012 Argentina was able to challenge the Dutchies. They became World champions in 2010. And just before the London Olympics in 2012 Argentina had won the Champions Trophy. Would Aymar finally take that long wanted Olympic gold?
No. She could not. In the final in London she could not make the difference and she burst in tears after the final whistle.
However, in 2008 Beijing Argentina was good but not able to make a go for the gold. We witnessed the final China – Netherlands were a solid 2-0 secured the gold for Oranje. But before that game started, we saw Argentina taking the bronze. That gave room for a lot of celebration on the pitch. We saw also a lot of nervous action on the stands close to the pitch. We put our zoom lens out once more and had to look again. Was it really Maradona there?
What was he doing? He was frantically pointing to the pitch. And with the result that Aymar came running to him, hugging and giving him her (pink) boots. No wonder why she is called the Maradona of Hockey!
This was funny. Maradona meets ‘’Maradona” at the Olympics! We tried to get there fast to pursue an autograph or selfie with one of the two legends. Remember that we act as 12-year-old during the Olympics. We failed but enjoyed the huge adrenaline in the crowds as one legend meets another. They did however not marry but probably had at least a romantic diner that night under bronze lights.