Former Argentinan midfielder and manager, Diego Maradona has died at the age of 60 after he suffered a heart attack at his Buenos Aires home.
Diego had a successful surgery on a brain blood clot earlier in November and was to be treated for alcohol dependency after he was later rushed to a clinic to stabilize his condition.
Maradona was captain when Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, scoring the famous ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the quarter-finals.
Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi paid tribute to Maradona, saying he was “eternal”.
“A very sad day for all Argentines and football,” said Messi. “He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal. I keep all the beautiful moments lived with him and I send my condolences to all his family and friends.”
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.”
Argentinean president Alberto Fernandez has declared three days of national mourning for Diego Maradona. In his statement, he 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.”
Regarded as one of the greatest players of all-time on the pitch, his life off the pitch was equally notorious – amid battles with drug and alcohol addiction.
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.
Diego Maradona dies of a heart attack at age 60 at his Buenos Aires home
Maradona led his country to 1990 final in Italy, where they were beaten by West Germany, before captaining them again in the United States in 1994, but was sent 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.
He retired from professional football in 1997, on his 37th birthday, during his second stint at Argentine giants Boca Juniors. Having briefly managed two 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 was beaten by Germany in the quarter-finals.
He subsequently managed teams in the United Arab Emirates and Mexico and was in charge of Gimnasia y Esgrima in Argentina’s top flight at the time of his death.
The footballer’s family have yet to make any formal statement about his passing. Diego is survived by his two daughters Ganina, 31, and Dalma, 33, by his ex-wife Claudia Villafane, 58, to whom he was married from 1984 to 2004.
According to reports, nine ambulances were sent to Maradona’s house at around midday on Wednesday in the residential neighbourhood of San Andres north of Buenos Aires where he went to live after leaving the hospital.
Local reports said one of the nurses caring for him had raised the alarm after discovering he had suffered a suspected heart attack. None of the paramedics who rushed to the house was able to do anything to save him.
May his soul rest in peace.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.