Diego Maradona, one of the greatest footballers of all time, died Wednesday at the age of 60, plunging his sport and his native Argentina into mourning.
Renowned along with Pele as one of the greatest players ever to play the game, the Argentine World Cup-winning captain died of a heart attack, having undergone brain surgery earlier this month, a member of his entourage told AFP.
Maradona will forever be known for his “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final in Mexico when he appeared to use his hand to push the ball into the net before later swerving through the English defenders for a memorable second goal that sealed the victory.
Pele said Maradona had been a “dear friend” and said he hoped they would “play together in the sky” one day.
Gary Lineker, who was in the England team defeated in 1986, tweeted that Maradona was “arguably the greatest of all time” but made a reference to that infamous goal by adding: “After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully, he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego”
Lionel Messi, the Argentine considered one of the world’s greatest modern-day players, said Maradona was “eternal”.
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez immediately announced three days of national mourning in the South American country.
Shortly before the announcement that shocked the world, Argentine media reported Maradona had suffered a serious health setback on Wednesday and was being treated at his home north of Buenos Aires.
“There are four ambulances at the door of the residence. They have summoned family members to come. It is serious,” the TyC Sports channel reported. Channels