Vale Diego Armando Maradona

Football Federation Australia is saddened to learn of the passing of one of the greatest players in the history of the game, Diego Armando Maradona. 

Every football fan on the planet knows his name, and his legacy will be eternal. 

We were lucky enough to be graced by his presence in Australia, having faced the Socceroos for a 1994 World Cup play-off match in Sydney. 

It was a big moment for Australian football, with the Socceroos securing an important 1-1 draw on home soil. 

While the away leg went in Argentina's favour, and they ultimately qualified for what was Maradona's last FIFA World Cup as a player, it was a gallant effort from our brave Socceroos. 

Captain at the time, Paul Wade, recalls what it was like in the lead up to the match. 

"I was given the job two weeks out," he said. "They told me that I was going to mark Diego Maradona and I didn't get a wink of sleep for two weeks because I was thinking of all the things that he did for Napoli and Argentina."

Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold recalls facing him and that star-studded Argentina team in Sydney. 

"The whole of Australia really got behind Australian football for one of the first times because of the interest in Diego Maradona," Arnold said. 

"At the time, I think the capacity of the old Sydney Football Stadium was 41,000 and they announced it as 44,000 or something.

"The staircases were jam-packed, everyone somehow just got in."

While he didn't get on the scoresheet, and it was a 1-1 draw in the end, Maradona's class was still on show. 

The video below picks out some of his classy moments from the match.