United We Stand editor Andy Mitten was on OTB AM to talk about his journey to speak to Diego Maradona who is currently a manager in the most dangerous city in Mexico.
Sent by FourFourTwo magazine to bag an interview with the 1986 World Cup winner, Mitten was taking a significant risk to try and talk to a man who “doesn’t do interviews.”
“I looked into it and I saw that not only is he in Mexico he’s in the most dangerous city in Mexico.
“Where the American government, the British government and probably the Irish government say do not travel to. This is category 4 dangerous, do not go there, it's the same as Syria,” Mitten explained.
While an interview with Maradona certainly wasn’t guaranteed, Mitten explained that in journalism, turning up is sure to give you at least “half a chance”.
Mitten attended a club training session in Juarez, near the US border, in an attempt to get a rare one-on-one interview with Maradona.
The players and club staff were happy to talk to him, but for the trip to Mexico to be really worth it he needed to talk to the Argentine ace.
“After an hour I see Maradona. He can barely walk, he’s wearing a cap with an image of that famous Argentinian Diego Maradona on his head.
He’s invited the ultras of the club along and they start singing songs to him and he sits on an ice box and he starts dancing away to songs about him,” Mitten said.
After two long hours, in which Mitten got acquainted with the local mosquitos, he finally got his chance to speak with Maradona. He waved the Manchester man over and said “I should have had a penalty in Old Trafford in 1984.”
“I said what brought you to Mexico because I know you’ve been here before, you were here in ‘86 weren’t you? ‘Oh the greatest moment’ he said, and he’s laughing at me because I’m English,” Mitten commented.
It was then that Maradona spoke of the problems persisting at Manchester United and how he believed he was the man to return them to glory.
“The problem with the club you like [Man United] is that they sell a lot of shirts but don’t win a lot of trophies. I am the man to return this club to greatness,” Maradona said.
“He made a point of coming back to me and said ‘I mean what I said. I can take Man United back to greatness. I can become the coach,’ and I thought as soon as this comes out this is going to be headline news,” Mitten commented.
Mitten was delighted to have gotten the chance to meet with Maradona and thanked his editor at FourFourTwo for sending him.
“I love writing, I love meeting new people I love finding out new stories and finding out why on earth Diego Maradona is in the drug capital of the world.”