Tributes continue to pour in as Football legend Diego Maradona, one of the greatest players of all time, died at the age of 60. The former Argentina attacking midfielder and manager suffered a heart attack at his Buenos Aires home. He had successful surgery on a brain blood clot earlier in November and was to be treated for alcohol dependency. Maradona was captain when Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, scoring the famous ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the quarter-finals.
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.” Declaring three days of national mourning, Alberto Fernandez, the president of Argentina, said: “You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of them all. “Thank you for having existed, Diego. We’re going to miss you all our lives.”
Maradona played for Barcelona and Napoli during his club career, winning two Serie A titles with the Italian side. He started his career with Argentinos Juniors, also playing for Sevilla, and Boca Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys in his homeland. He scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina, representing them in four World Cups. Maradona led his country to the 1990 final in Italy, where they were beaten by West Germany, before captaining them again in the United States in 1994, wherehe helpedhiscountry to a 2-1 defeat of the Super Eaglesof Nigeria, butwassent home after failing a drugs test for ephedrine.
During the second half of his career, Maradona struggled with cocaine addiction and was banned for 15 months after testing positive for the drug in 1991. Havingbrieflymanagedtwo sides in Argentina during his playing career, Maradona was appointed head coach of the national team in 2008 and left after the 2010 World Cup, where his side were beaten by Germany in the quarterfinals. Argentin a defeated the Super Eagles again in South Africa with the legend praising the performance of retired national team captain, Vincent Enyeama, in the game.
The South American handler who was relieved to have kicked off his World Cup campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Nigeria’s Super Eagles, said Enyeama’s performance was worth of earning him the Man-of-the-Match tag even over the more illustrious, Messi. Brazil legend Pele led tributes to Maradona, writing on Twitter: “What sad news. I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members.
One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky.” Juventus and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo said: “Today I bid farewell to a friend and the world bids farewell to an eternal genius. One of the best of all time. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten.”