Matthaeus picks Spain as favourites

Football FIFA World Cup Tour

Matthaeus picks Spain as favourites


“Spain have excellent players in their ranks. They have everything in them and players who can make a difference,” Matthaeus said after displaying the FIFA World Cup trophy here. The former West Germany captain, who’s side beat Diego Maradona’s Argentina to lift the 1990 World Cup, described the Argentine great as the best footballer ever.
Recalling his rivalry with Maradona, Matthaeus said: “I have not seen any better player than Maradona. It was always great to play against Argentina. Whenever I played against him, I was in full concentration. He was fast but I was faster to catch him and hold him.”

Maradona had described the German midfielder and sweeper as his “best rival” and Matthaeus reciprocated the gesture saying they had mutual respect for each other.
“I had played against him for the first time in a friendly in 1982. He was a fantastic player. We had mutual respect for each other apart from the fact that we were rivals on the field. He respected the fact that I did not hurt his legs while tackling him,” said the 48-year-old former star.

But from the present lot, Matthaeus, who was the first to receive the FIFA Player of the Year in 1991, picked Argentine striker Lionel Messi as the best footballer. “He is the best at the moment. But FIFA will decide who is the best player.”
About their 1990 World Cup triumph, which he described as his best moment in his career, he said, “He (Maradona) did not play at the highest level. It was easier for us to beat them.”

“...to hold the World Cup as a captain, it was a feeling which cannot be expressed in words. It was everything,” said Matthaeus, who is Germany’s most capped player with 150 appearances.
PTI

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