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Maradona at Malaga airport and scenes of a packed La Rosaleda.
Record gate receipts at a jam-packed La Rosaleda stadium - all for Maradona

Record gate receipts at a jam-packed La Rosaleda stadium - all for Maradona

A record 32 million pesetas was raised on 17 October 1982 when Diego Maradona's Barcelona team came to town

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Friday, 27 November 2020, 19:47

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It's impossible to know how many fans there were inside La Rosaleda on 17 October 1982, but the gate receipts were a record 32 million pesetas. There wasn't a spare spot anywhere; even the stairwells were full. The reason? Diego Maradona's Barcelona side were in town.

He had just joined following the World Cup and was a global sensation. The stadium was already full 45 minutes before kick-off, just to get a glimpse of his famous skills, even in the warm-up. The moment he stepped onto the field, the crowd erupted.

Maradona's move to Spain was the catalyst for many young fans to switch their allegiance to the Catalan team. On the day, Malaga fans inside the stadium were vastly outnumbered by around three to one.

So, despite a 4-1 win for the visitors, most inside La Rosaleda were pleased one way or another. Either because their newly adopted team had won, or because they saw the majesty of Maradona first hand.

He even got on the scoresheet with the final goal of the game.

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