Diego Armando Maradona

10 of Diego Maradona's best team-mates ever

Tom Gott
Maradona played alongside some real superstars
Maradona played alongside some real superstars / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Diego Maradona's talent on the pitch is no secret. The Argentina international was one of the biggest names at every team he went to, but he also had the honour of playing alongside some real superstars.

Whether it be on the international stage or at one of Maradona's clubs, El Pibe de Oro got to join forces with so many enormous names, many of whom racked up goals, trophies and appearances all across Europe.

Here are ten of the best.


1. Quini

Quini
Quini was a Spanish legend / LLUIS GENE/GettyImages

One of the best strikers in Spain's rich history, Quini's time with Maradona was short and sweet. He was at Barcelona when Maradona joined in 1982 and retired when he left two years later.

The duo won three cup competitions together, with Quini winning a further two before Maradona joined, including the Cup Winners' Cup in 1982.

Quini is best known for his spell with Sporting Gijon, where he bagged 165 of the 219 goals that leave him eighth in La Liga's all-time scoring charts.

2. Mario Kempes

Mario Kempes
Kempes racked up the goals / Getty Images/GettyImages

Speaking of prolific La Liga strikers, Maradona got to enjoy the company of Mario Kempes on the international scene.

Kempes was around for the early years of Maradona's Argentina career and was part of the side that won the 1978 World Cup, finishing as the competition's top scorer with six goals.

Maradona matched that eight years later, being crowned the best player at the 1986 tournament as he led Argentina to glory.

3. Gianfranco Zola

Gianfranco Zola
Maradona met Zola at Napoli / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

Maradona spent two years at Napoli with diminutive forward Gianfranco Zola between 1989 and 1991.

The pair wasted little time and took over straight away, leading Napoli to the 1989/90 Serie A title.

Zola is most famous for his spell with Chelsea between 1996 and 2003, but it was at Napoli that the Italy international began to emerge as a future superstar.

4. Oscar Ruggeri

Oscar Ruggeri, Diego Maradona
Ruggeri with Maradona / PATRICK HERTZOG/GettyImages

Team-mates for both club and country, Maradona and Oscar Ruggeri were part of some of the biggest moments in the history of Argentinian football.

Minor success with Boca Juniors in the early 1980s was followed by that famous 1986 World Cup triumph, but Ruggeri would go on to win even more without Maradona.

Ruggeri, a dominant centre-back, won Copa America twice and the Confederations Cup once, as well as lifting the 1989/90 La Liga title with Real Madrid.

5. Jorge Valdano

Jorge Valdano
Valdano won the 1986 World Cup / STAFF/GettyImages

Like Ruggeri, legendary striker Jorge Valdano enjoyed plenty of success at Real Madrid.

He won two La Liga titles and two UEFA Cups, earning La Liga's award for the best foreign player in 1986.

It was in that year that Valdano joined Maradona in winning the World Cup. Not a bad 12 months.

6. Fernando Redondo

Fernando Redondo
Redondo was popular in Madrid / Getty Images/GettyImages

Keeping the Real Madrid theme going, next up is Fernando Redondo, winner of two La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues between 1995 and 2000.

Redondo was just getting his career started as Maradona began to bow out, and the pair only spent two years together on the international stage before Maradona walked away.

They didn't win anything together, but both enjoyed real success separately.

7. Ciro Ferrara

Diego Maradona, Ciro Ferrara
Ferrara & Maradona on the international stage / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

Nobody played alongside Maradona more than Italian centre-back Ciro Ferrara, who graduated from the Napoli academy in the same summer that Maradona was signed.

They teamed up for seven years, forming part of the spine of that historic Napoli side that won two Serie A titles between 1987 and 1990.

Following Maradona's departure, Ferrara joined Juventus, where he won a further five league titles and the 1995/96 Champions League.

8. Diego Simeone

Diego Simeone
Simeone & Maradona briefly crossed paths / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

Current Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone joined Sevilla in 1992, following Maradona to the club.

Maradona's departure 12 months later limited the time these two had together on the pitch, but they did link up on the international stage for a little while longer.

Simeone enjoyed plenty of success with Argentina, although in his limited time with Maradona, he was part of the 1994 World Cup squad, which Maradona described as the best Argentina setup ever.

9. Davor Suker

Davor Suker
Suker was prolific in La Liga / Getty Images/GettyImages

Also part of that Sevilla side was Croatian great Davor Suker, who was slowly emerging as a superstar striker at that point in time.

Alongside Maradona, Suker bagged 13 goals in the 1992/93 season, but he'd go on to bag 24 in the following season to announce himself as one of the best marksmen in Spain.

Suker bagged plenty of goals before his time in Seville came to an end, but most of his success came on the books of Real Madrid between 1996 and 1999.

10. Gabriel Batistuta

Gabriel Batistuta
Batistuta scored goals for fun at Fiorentina / Getty Images/GettyImages

Despite the fact he made his name in Argentina and soon excelled in Italy, Gabriel Batistuta never crossed paths with Maradona at club level.

Their time alongside each other for Argentina only lasted a little over 12 months and it also wasn't as successful as either would have hoped, although Maradona clearly remembers it fondly as Batistuta was also part of his all-time favourite international squad in 1994.

Batistuta would go on to rack up the goals for Argentina in Maradona's absence - he was the record scorer before Lionel Messi came along - while also blazing through defences on the books at Fiorentina.

facebooktwitterreddit