I went up to Birmingham to see Michel Platini play for Juventus against Aston Villa in the European Cup in 1983.
Villa were the reigning European Cup champions at that time and as well as Platini and Boniek the Juventus team had most of the previous season’s Italian World Cup winners in it i.e. Zoff, Gentile, Cabrini, Scirea, Bettega, Tardelli and Rossi.
What a team.
I’ve no idea what, if any shenanigans Platini got up to in his much later FIFA administration role but I’ve always been grateful that I saw him in action in a meaningful game.
I also saw him for a second time a few years later in 1987 when he played at Wembley for a Rest of the World team against a Football League side to mark the latter’s centenary.
Maradona played that day too, just a year after his ‘Hand of God’.
But that’s another story!
I was at that game too. Maradona had so much skill it was ridiculous - walking round the pitch during the warm up waving to the crowd and lapping up the atmosphere and all the while doing keep-ups without even looking. I think I’ve still got the programme from that game somewhere.