Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images
Legendary Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona is dead from a heart attack. He was 60 years old.
On Wednesday, the the Argentine Football Association announced through Twitter that it “expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts.”
Diego Maradona is considered by many to be the greatest soccer player of all time.
When he was just 18 years old, Maradona led Argentina to a youth World Cup Victory in 1986 and played in four more World Cups after that.
It was at the ’86 World Cup that he was catapulted into global stardom for scoring a goal that would be known afterwards as the “Hand of God”. Maradona led his team to victory over England by jumping over a goalkeeper and punching the ball into the net. Afterward, he described what drove the goal: “It was a little bit with the head and a bit with the hand of God.”
After, Maradona moved to Naples, which would become his adopted home town. He solidified his superstar status by helping the struggling Naples Club clinch its first Italian league title in 1987. A second followed in 1990.
But El Pibe de Oro was as famous for his excesses as he was for his talent. He publicly struggled with drug addiction and personal crises throughout his career and after it. Post-retirement, his health suffered.
Earlier this month, Maradona had underwent an operation to remove a blood clot from his brain. Shortly after, he was admitted to a rehab center to treat his alcohol addiction. On October 25th, he died of a heart attack in his home in Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In the wake of Maradona’s death, there has been an outpouring of grief from fans, peers, and rivals alike.
Cristiano Ronaldo took to Twitter to express his feelings about the death of a global superstar.
“Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius,” wrote Ronaldo. “One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but leaves a limitless legacy and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, crack. You will never be forgotten.”
Famous Brazilian forward Pelé also wrote a touching tribute to him on Twitter.
“What sad news,” wrote Pelé. “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 his family. One day, I hope we can play ball together in heaven.”
Fellow Argentine superstar Leo Messi posted a touching tribute to Maradona on Instagram.
The two players have always drawn parallels because of their country of origin.
Maradona’s adopted stadium of San Paolo in Naples lit up in memoriam of their greatest player.
The entire sports world grieves at the passing of such a legend. Rest in peace, Diego.
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