"Let me sign for Sunderland or I'll retire!": Diego Maradona reveals his Wearside link

Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona

Could you imagine Diego Maradona on a cold, midweek night at Roker Park?

Such an image almost became a reality, with a new documentary revealing that the Argentinian wanted to join Sunderland in 1977.

Indeed, the future World Cup winner was so keen to make the move to Roker Park that he even threatened to retire from football if the move couldn't be forced through.

The surprising link was revealed by the History Channel in a series on the history of the beautiful game in the build-up to the 2018 World Cup.

Maradona, then just 17-years-old, was attracting interest having burst onto the scene for the national team as well as his club side, Argentinos Juniors.

And one of the first clubs to register an interest in the attacker were Sunderland - with Maradona keen to make the move.

But Argentina, then ruled by a military dictatorship, declared Maradona 'untransferrable' and demanded he remained on home soil.

Despite threatening to retire in order to seal a move to Wearside, the youngster was forced to stay in his homeland before eventually moving to Barcelona in 1982 as he missed out on his dream move to Roker Park.