A "magician on the field but crazy off it" is how former All White and Oceania player of the 20th century Wynton Rufer has remembered football legend Diego Maradona.
Maradona who led Argentina to the World Cup 1986 has died at the age of 60 in Buenos Aires after his life particuarly post football marred by drug and alcohol addiction.
Such is Maradona's legendary status in his homeland that the Argentinian government has declared three days of national mourning.
Wynton Rufer twice played against Maradona in 1989 - when Rufer was at German club Werder Bremen and Maradona was at the peak of his powers with Italian club Napoli.
"What he could do on the field was truly phenomenal. He was a magician with the ball and could score from impossible angles, (would take) amazing free kicks and his ball control was from another planet," said Rufer.
"Off the field was a little bit of a shame. He often got himself into trouble but there is no doubting his amazing football ability."
Rufer scored the winner for Werder Bremen in their 3-2 win over Maradona's Napoli side in 1989 and remembers the match as if it were yesterday.
"On a breakaway in the last minute I scored the winner and the directly after the game I swapped shirts with him.
"Normally when you finish a game you jump in over your teamates and celebrate because it was a massive win .... I sprinted past my teamates and sprinted up to Diego to get his shirt," Rufer remembers with a laugh.
"He wasn't too happy at all... because he never liked to lose and especially at home (in Napoli) ...but he was still gentlemanly enough to swap shirts with me."
Rufer said he did get to meet Maradona off the field at various FIFA events and always found him down to earth.
"He was quite a humble guy just like a lot of those big guns - Pele, (Franz) Beckenbauer, (Johan) Cruyff."
Rufer agrees many people will look at Maradona's age and think 60 is young to die but given his lifestyle Rufer says it's not a surprise.
"There's no doubting his on field talents but sadly off the field he was just crazy."