There are images that the collective memory never forgets. One of them almost always happened on a soccer field and had as its protagonist Diego Armando Maradona. Who does not remember him entering the stadium raising his arms to greet the stands to the sound of "Diego, Diegooo"? In 2008, on the occasion of Rally Argentina of World RallyThis ritual was repeated, although in a different place: the Villa Carlos Paz service park.
The legendary 10 was invited by Citroën Argentina to get on the right seat of the Citroën C4 WRC French Sébastien Loeb, star of the official team of the double chevron brand. The test took place during the shakedown, where the drivers tested their cars before starting the competition.
A crowd gathered in the French team's tent and with a standing ovation, Maradona once again greeted his audience, this time wearing a tight red jumpsuit. As soon as he sat down in the right seat of the C4, Diego settled in, allowed his belt to be adjusted and prepared to face the almost four kilometers of the stage with Seb Villa Garcia-Cabalango.
The dialogue between the stars was limited. “Diego only speaks Spanish and I speak French and English. So as I could, I explained how the car worked ”, said Loeb, who confessed that he knows very little about football although he knew Maradona for his world fame.
When Maradona got out of the C4, his eyes were sparkling with excitement. “It was incredible. Besides, it was a delight to watch him drive. There were a lot of blind spots and he wouldn't loosen up. I thought: 'here we shot out'. It made me feel very comfortable, like I was behind the wheel. ", said the former soccer player, who once saw live and direct win the French in a Monte Carlo Rally. "After this, I must be one of the most envied in all of Córdoba because I was next to this guy who is a thoroughbred", He added.
Diego also assured that he was impressed by Seb's driving technique. “It has great tranquility. He accelerated in the right places and didn't miss a thing. He did it with surprising ductility. I thought I was going to have a hard time, but when I sat down and saw it, I was calm. "
It was not the first time that Maradona had direct contact with motorsport. Years before he got on a CT as a companion of Oscar Aventin already a rally car with Gabriel Raies. He even almost proved, in 1987, a Williams de F1, although he had to give up due to a football commitment: “There was an Argentine who knew people from the team. Everything was ready for the test, but I canceled it because I had to play for the Italian Cup. After that the opportunity did not arise again ”.
Maradona left team members with Argentina national team shirts with his signature as a souvenir. And he took his: the diver with Loeb's signature on the right side. “I knew that Sébastien was very good, now I know that he is fantastic”, he pulled before leaving the service park with a grin from ear to ear.