Argentina legend Diego Maradona, widely considered one of the greatest players of all time, has died at the age of 60.
The former midfielder reportedly suffered a heart attack at his home in Tigre, near Buenos Aires.
Earlier in November, it was reported that Maradona underwent a successful surgery which saw the removal of a blood clot in his brain.
In a statement on social media, the Argentine Football Association expressed “its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend,” adding: “You will always be in our hearts.”
One of the greatest players of all time, Maradona was captain when Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, producing a series of sublime individual performances.
Maradona earned a name for himself playing for the likes Barcelona and Napoli where he won numerous accolades, but the midfielder retired shortly before the introduction of the Ballon D’or, which is annually awarded to the sport’s best player.
Argentina’s footballing Icon
Maradona played for some of Europe’s greatest sides during his 21-year career. The highlight of his club career came at Napoli, where he scored 81 goals in 187 matches. The Argentinian led the Italian side to two Serie A titles making such an impact that his No.10 shirt was retired by the club, while murals of the midfielder are present in many part of Naples.
For Argentina, he scored 34 goals in 91 appearances, as well as playing in four World Cups. In 1986 he led his country to a World Cup trophy in the same tournament winning the tournament’s Golden Ball Award, which cemented his place as the greatest player of the tournament.
Despite his footballing brilliance, he struggled to cope with a drug addiction that resulted in him failing multiple drug test and being sent home from training camps. In 1991, Maradona was banned from football for testing positive for recreational drugs. He retired in 1997, on his 37th birthday, during his second stint at his hometown club, Boca Juniors.
After retiring from football Maradona pursued a managerial career that would fall short of the expectations many had for him. He took charge of Argentina for the 2008 World Cup, although his side was eventually beaten 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-final. He left the role months later.
One of the greatest legends who will be remembered for his famous ‘Hand of God’ — he scored a controversial opening goal with his hand against England in the 1986 World Cup semi-final before scoring what was later described as the “goal of the century” in the same game.
The footballing world pays tribute
Pele, who has always been placed alongside Maradona in the discussion of ‘greatest footballer of all time’ has led the tributes tonight as he reflects on the loss of his ‘dear friend’.
Fellow Argentina legend Lionel Messi said: “Even if I played for a million years, I’d never come close to Maradona. Not that I’d want to anyway. He’s the greatest there’s ever been”.
Que notícia triste. Eu perdi um grande amigo e o mundo perdeu uma lenda. Ainda há muito a ser dito, mas por agora, que Deus dê força para os familiares. Um dia, eu espero que possamos jogar bola juntos no céu. pic.twitter.com/6Li76HTikA
— Pelé (@Pele) November 25, 2020
Reports from Argentina that Diego Armando Maradona has died. By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 25, 2020
Per Sempre 💙
Ciao Diego pic.twitter.com/LzppqlBqLV
— Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) November 25, 2020
Privileged to have met him. Very sad news. RIP Diego Maradona. pic.twitter.com/x2LcIeQPqr
— Harry Kane (@HKane) November 25, 2020
Hoje despeço-me de um amigo e o Mundo despede-se de um génio eterno. Um dos melhores de todos os tempos. Um mágico inigualável. Parte demasiado cedo, mas deixa um legado sem limites e um vazio que jamais será preenchido. Descansa em paz, craque. Nunca serás esquecido.🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/WTS21uxmdL
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 25, 2020
Thank you for everything, Diego pic.twitter.com/bJ9l3ixY7A
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 25, 2020
Eternas gracias. Eterno Diego. pic.twitter.com/SZVNOJnZ1j
— Boca Jrs. Oficial (desde 🏡) (@BocaJrsOficial) November 25, 2020
Photo Source: Wikipedia
Words: Michael Patcha | Subbed: Connor O’Halloran