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Ball - "Maradona exchanged a gun on the table" (Barcelona)

Ball – “Maradona exchanged a gun on the table” (Barcelona)

Jose Maria Minguela, 80, a Spanish ex-manager and businessman with strong ties to Barcelona, ​​in an extended interview with the magazine libero, talks about contracting Maradona to Barcelona.

“My first job was at Cirefilms, but at the same time I took a course and they called me to help young people in Barcelona. I juggled the two until the 1970s, with the arrival of Vic Buckingham. [treinador inglês] In the bank there was no one in the club who spoke English. I went to England for a few summers, and although I couldn’t speak fluently, I volunteered and so joined the first team. Then I was an assistant to Rinus Michels [treinador neerlandês], with Cruyff as a player and when Rinus left I wanted to go see the world, travel around South America, watch matches, and in one of them, I saw Maradona,” he began.

So how did you manage to bring Maradona to Barcelona?
It was a long and complicated process. In the Argentine government there were soldiers from Videla [antigo ditador da Argentina] That, in a way, they needed a character like Diego. We made a deal with Argentinos Juniors in 1980, but the government issued a note stating that Maradona was a national heritage and that he could not leave before the 1982 World Cup in Spain, even though Barcelona’s leaders had already gone to Buenos Aires to sign the player. In early 1982 I had to go back to Argentina because that first contract was no longer valid. Prospero Consoli, then president of Argentinos Juniors, is no longer in office and the new president is a police officer … When I arrived to speak with him, we went to a restaurant with the cashier of Barcelona and he put a gun on the table. We laughed, but we were surprised, we were not used to negotiating with a gun on the table ”, he recalls.

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