Sublimely talented players, but imperfect pros, Paul Gascoigne has recalled his experiences of facing Diego Maradona on the pitch.

England's own flawed genius never encountered Maradona, who died on Thursday, in competitive action, with Gascoigne's time at Lazio just failing to overlap with the Argentine's storied spell at Napoli. 

Gascoigne told ITV's Good Morning Britain the pair "clicked" when Maradona, puffing on a cigar after a charity match in 2006, offered him a lighter.

They also met when Lazio and Sevilla played out a 1-1 draw in a friendly in 1992, a match where the former England midfielder netted for the Serie A side and Maradona came close to scoring for the Spaniards, just failing to do so with an audacious bicycle kick and hitting the crossbar with a free-kick. 

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Gascoigne revealed that their performances came under the influence of alcohol, not that it seemed to matter.

"On the flight (to the match) I had a couple of drinks," he said.

"In the tunnel, I went 'Diego, I'm tipsy.’ And he went ‘It’s OK Gazza, so am I.’

"I went out and beat about four players and scored a goal, I looked at him and I said ‘Beat that.’ Obviously I was speaking in Italian because he doesn’t speak English and neither do I!

"I think I said the wrong thing, because after that he was unbelievable, magic. What a player."