“He wanted me to play with him in Napoli” – Liverpool legend opens up on interest from Diego Maradona 

Liverpool legend Ian Rush says Maradona wanted to play with him at Napoli.
Liverpool legend Ian Rush says Maradona wanted to play with him at Napoli.

Liverpool legend Ian Rush claimed that Diego Maradona wanted to play with him at Napoli in the 1980s.

Rush is widely regarded as one of the Reds' greatest-ever players and is the most prolific player in their history, scoring 336 goals in 660 appearances. 1983-84 was one of his best seasons at the club.

Rush scored 47 goals in 65 games during that campaign, helping Liverpool to the first-division title, the League Cup, and the European Cup. That summer, Maradona sealed a surprise transfer to Napoli from Barcelona.

According to Rush, the legendary Argentine forward wanted to link up with him in Naples. But the Reds said no. He told Bangladeshi outlet Prothomalo:

"He [Maradona] was incredible, for me he was amazing. In 1984 he went to Napoli. Napoli tried to sign me from Liverpool. He wanted me to play with him in Napoli. I would’ve liked to have played with Maradona. But Liverpool said no..."

Maradona helped Napoli win the Serie A for the first time in its history in the season following Argentina's 1986 FIFA World Cup win, where he won the Best Player award. Rush added:

"Then Napoli won the league. He virtually won Napoli that league by himself and the 1986 World Cup. I was lucky enough to speak to him a lot of times before he passed away. To win Napoli that trophy, to win Argentina the World Cup, not many people can say they could’ve done that."

Maradona, regarded as one of the finest athletes to grace the planet, died of a cardiac arrest on 25 November, 2020 at the age of 60.

Rush believes Jurgen Klopp hasn't lost his magic at Liverpool

After Jurgen Klopp's arrival in November 2015, Liverpool lifted their first Premier League trophy in the 2019-20 season, ending a 30-year wait.

The 2018-19 UEFA Champions League win was their first time lifting the trophy in 14 years. Klopp has won every major title with the Reds during his time at Anfield. However, the Reds finished fifth in the league last season and won no trophies.

It raised doubts about whether the German was losing his touch. But Ian Rush doesn't believe that notion. Asked if he thinks Klopp has lost his magic, Rush replied, via the aforementioned source:

"He just had a bad two months in between. If you look at our last nine games in the season, we finished it off well. Now, we have got to start the season off well. I’m a great believer in Jurgen Klopp. He is a great coach, I don’t think he has lost his magic."

Liverpool went on an 11-game unbeaten run to finish off the 2022-23 season.

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Edited by Aniket Rai
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