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Nigeria request Pyatigorsk as World Cup base


Diego Maradona to share stage with Gary Lineker at 2018 World Cup draw

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Diego Maradona will be reunited on stage with World Cup rival Gary Lineker as one of several legendary players FIFA announced will attend the draw for the 2018 finals in Russia next week.

FIFA announced that Maradona will represent Argentina in the State Kremlin Palace, where all eight World Cup-winning nations will send a representative who won the trophy to assist in the draw.

Maradona captained Argentina to the 1986 title, eliminating Lineker's England in the quarterfinals with the help of his infamous "Hand of God" goal in Mexico City.

Diego Maradona infamously punched the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton at the 1986 World Cup.

Former England captain Lineker, who won the Golden Boot in that tournament, will host the 32-nation ceremony on Dec. 1. England will be officially represented by Gordon Banks, goalkeeper on the 1966 winning team. 

The other draw assistants are Laurent Blanc (who won the 1998 tournament with host nation France), Cafu (Brazil, 2002), Fabio Cannavaro (Italy, 2006), Diego Forlan (representing 1930 and 1950 champions Uruguay), Carles Puyol (Spain, 2010) and Nikita Simonyan, who is participating on behalf of 2018 hosts Russia.

Former Germany forward, 2014 winner Miroslav Klose, will bring the World Cup trophy on stage.


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