Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2020. 1:34 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The BBC reports that one of the consensus greatest football players of all time, Argentina’s Diego Maradona, died at home in Buenos Aires this morning of a heart attack at the age of sixty.
He had previously had surgery on a brain blood clot earlier in November and was to be treated for alcohol dependency.
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.” The Argentine Football Association added via its social media, “You will always be in our hearts.”
While he played for Barcelona and Napoli during his club career, winning two Serie A titles with the Italian side, he is best known for his exploits with his national team as player and then manager.
He captained the 1986 World Cup side to glory, scoring the famous ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the quarterfinals before condemning them to defeat with a goal later classed as the goal of the century. He scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina, representing them in four World Cups including another final in 1990. In 2010, as manager, he led them to a quarterfinal appearance which they lost to Germany.
Maradona led a colorful life off the pitch marred by drug addiction, obesity and scandal, including being sent home in disgrace from the 1994 World Cup after failing a drug test for ephedrine. This followed a 15-month ban for cocaine in 1991.
But very little swayed public opinion, as in 1999 he narrowly pipped Brazil legend Pele to the title of FIFA Player of the Century, which they were ruled to share.
Pele tweeted: “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.”
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