Diego Maradona made waves and generated headlines wherever he ventured in his successful and controversial football career.
And Scotland goalkeeper, Alan Rough, was among those who had the unenviable job of trying to deal with the talismanic Argentine star, who has died at the age of 60, when the mighty world champions visited Hampden Park in 1979.
At the time, Maradona was still just 19, but word had spread about his prodigious talent and he proved far too hot to handle for the home side in Glasgow, who ended up losing 3-1.
That scoreline wasn’t merely a reflection of the gulf between the combatants, but featured the teenager’s first-ever international goal, along with a series of trademark runs where it seemed he could ghost past rivals as if they weren’t there.
Rough recalled the immediate impression which the youngster made when the teams locked horms in the friendly fixture on June 2.
He said: “We were all captivated by the mesmerising display from Maradona, who feinted and jinked and shimmied and looked capable of doing anything with a football.
“Obviously, he was still a raw talent, but you can sometimes tell with these special players and he already had the aura of a superstar about him.
“Maradona was blessed with pace and power and had the quality which distinguishes the truly great from the very good – an apparently endless amount of time on the ball.
“It made him very dangerous every time he surged forward and his goal was no more than he deserved. He could have had more as well, because we couldn’t get the ball off him.”
Rough added: “We managed to pull a goal back through Arthur Graham, but it was a tough task and I’ve never forgotten it. Even the Tartan Army were thrilled by his exploits and it was one of those occasions where you have to acknowledge that you are lucky to be on the same pitch as a genius.
“One of the men assigned to mark him was Iain Munro, the St Mirren defender, and although he suffered a torrid evening – like the rest of us – he was pleased as punch when he managed to get a tape of the match later on in his career.
“He was less thrilled when he lent the video to me, and my kids taped over it with the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarves!”
Arthur Graham, who secured a late consolation goal for the Scots, was also in awe of the new maestro.
He said: “What I remember is being in the tunnel before the game. Argentina had some big, tough men who looked like real footballers in their ranks. And then, there was this little fella who resembled a ball boy.
“He looked like a mascot. I kind of acknowledged him as if to say: ‘All the best, son, you will need it’ – the size of him. But then he started beating players as if they weren’t there.
“It was the end of the season and the Hampden pitch was dry. But Maradona made their first two goals and scored the third, and we couldn’t get near them because of him.
“Maradona got kicked plenty of times throughout his career, but you didn’t see him getting injured. He was tough and he didn’t dive, he stayed on his feet.
“You saw that in the famous goal against England (which earned his side victory in the countries’ notorious meeting at the 1986 World Cup) when he ran from midfield.
“He could have gone down a few times, but he just kept going and scored.”
Right from the start, this raging bull was unstoppable!