Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Paul Gascoigne has revealed he was offered a helping hand from Argentina national team coach Diego Maradona. The controversial Argentine has battled back from a catalogue of health problems and near death to become the host of his own entertainment show and, now, take charge of his country's 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.
And Gazza, who himself has suffered with mental illness and alcoholism since his playing career ended, admitted he received an offer from 'El Diez' to visit him.
“I got a call and they just said Maradona has invited us to stay with him," he told Sky News. "This was a couple of months ago but I left it. I said I’d just leave it because he was taking the job of Argentina and he would be busy anyway. But it’s still on offer.”
And the ex-England international, who made 57 appearances for his country and scored 10 times, revealed one of his biggest regrets was not joining Manchester United when he had the chance, believing that - under Sir Alex Ferguson's guidance - his life may have taken a drastically different path.
“Maybe if I had stayed at Man U I might have still been there," he said.
"I don't know, you just look at these players and the squad of young kids that play, young Rooney that's there, the Neville brothers and Becks, the way he [Ferguson] just brought them on and there are so many. "I got invited to the academy and it is a magnificent place and you can see the way he treats his players, he treats them with respect but he also makes men out of boys.
"It took me six years to get back talking to Sir Alex, I called him from Lazio and asked him would he re-sign us. "He was with Eric Cantona and he said he would see what Cantona was going to do but I think everyone knows if you do something to Sir Alex Ferguson the way I did you don't get a second chance."comments