It was his first time in Argentina’s Number 10 jersey, the first goal for his country, and the first time anyone in Scotland saw Diego Maradona in action.
None of the 61,918 inside Hampden on 2 June 1979, would forget it.
Then unknown, the teenager ran riot to help Argentina dismantle Scotland 3-1 in a friendly.
The Sunday Post’s legendary sports writer Doug Baillie was there and did not miss the astonishing talent of the player soon to become one of the best the world has ever seen.
Yesterday, our former chief football writer remembered the day and the player: “He was like a rubber ball at Hampden.
“Every time he got kicked, he just bounced back up again so I couldn’t understand why the Scotland boys kept kicking him!”
“He was unplayable, and that remained the case for much of the rest of his career.”
The following day, this is how Doug started his match report:
For every man, woman and wean unlucky enough not to make it to Hampden, I have bad news. You missed the treat of a lifetime. And it could be long enough before you get a second chance to cast your eye over Senor Diego Maradona.
If this 18-year-old doesn’t go on to become the greatest thing sliced bread, my mother’s a cowboy. What a player he is and, by the looks of him, he’s no right to be.
He’s little more than knee high to a grasshopper, his beam-end fairly fills his shorts – and he’s got a pair of legs like tree trunks. But he has the happy knack of always being around when required and has skill and pace just short of mind-boggling.
Oh, yes, I nearly forgot. He never headed the ball once and if he touched it with his right foot, I must have been blinking at the time…
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