Gentile VS Zico
2 December 2010, 06:14219,157
'Maradona was more individualistic, and practically all of their play was channelled through him.' Claudio Gentile Explains. 'Zico, in contrast, was more of a team player. He brought his team-mates into play, so I'd consider him to be a more complete player. But Maradona was more decisive, because when he'd spring into attack, he could win a match all by himself. That was shown in the 1986 World Cup, which he won all by himself. Bearzot was very clever on that occasion. I had just had this battle against Maradona, in which I had fared well, but he didn't want to put me under too much pressure by telling me I was going to mark another important player. So he made me believe that I was going to mark Eder. Then, five minutes before the game, he came to see me and told me "Look, I've changed my mind, take Zico." I didn't even have the time to think before I took to the field. Bearzot very cleverly relieved the mental pressure. When I had to mark an opponent, I knew I had a specific task to accomplish, and I'd do some homework before by studying the player. I did that with Maradona, even though I already knew him and how he played. So I tried to mark different players in different ways. But as for the rest, whether the player was tall or short, thin or strong, I just had to do my job the best way I could.'