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Diego Maradona prays to God before vital Argentina match, Messi answers

Diego Maradona is sometimes regarded as the greatest player in the history of soccer. The Argentine legend, who led the South American nation to World Cup glory in Mexico in 1986, has been a constant presence when Argentina has played at the World Cup in Russia this summer.

But while Maradona may still be regarded as a legend, his antics in the stands at this World Cup have been somewhat less decorous than his playing career, which in addition to the World Cup, saw him claim two Serie A titles with Napoli and a Copa del Rey with Barcelona.

Here he’s seen dancing with what may be a journalist ahead of Wednesday’s do-or-die meeting between Lionel Messi’s Argentina and Nigeria.

And here he is at the same match unfurling an enormous banner featuring . . .

Diego Maradona.

Diego Maradona holds a banner of himself in the stands before the FIFA World Cup Group D match at Saint Petersburg Stadium. Picture date: Tuesday June 26, 2018. (Getty Images)

He also apparently paid tribute to Kate Winslet by reenacting one of the English actress’ iconic moments from the movie Titanic.

OK, so maybe he was praying for an Argentina win there.

If he was praying, current Argentina legend Lionel Messi answered with a brilliant goal early on in Argentina’s crucial Group D match against Nigeria on Tuesday.

Messi has been subject to constant comparisons between himself and Maradona throughout his career. While Messi’s accomplishments at the club level absolutely dwarf Maradona’s, the fact that the Barcelona No. 10 has yet to win a World Cup is constantly used to diminish his accomplishments and to extend the narrative that Maradona is somehow better than him.

For the sake of all of us, let’s hope that Messi and Co. are successful and go all the way at this World Cup, finally removing the albatross that is Maradona’s legacy from over the head of Argentina.

Otherwise, we might have to continue to contend with scenes like this.

Or this.

Or this.

Or this.

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