Diego Maradona, recognized as one of the biggest footballers of all time, died at 60 years of age.
Diego Maradona's lawyer said the Argentinian, who had brain surgery this month,
died from a heart attack.
There were three days of national mourning declared by the government.
The child genius Diego Maradona has become the manifestation of a prophecy.
In 1986, Maradona propelled Argentina to World Cup triumph when he showed a level of talent, innovation, power and determination as captain, undoubtedly not seen before or since. He also achieved possibly the greatest goal of all time in the 2-1 quarter-final dominance over England, a match in which the forward also revealed his darker, mischievous side with the notorious "Hand of God."
At club level, Maradona also found success, most especially with Napoli, who in 1987 led to their first Serie A crown. A second followed in 1990, following the Italian Cup in 1987 and the Uefa Cup in 1989, and the influence of the player on a club that had previously existed in the shadow of the northern powerhouses of Italy, namely Juventus, Milan and Internazionale, was such that Napoli announced in 2000 they were retiring his No 10 shirt.
However none of that could overshadow his skills on the field, which were almost extraordinary at their best.
Diego Armando Maradona was a gifted child, born in Buenos Aires on 30 October 1960, and having joined Los Cebollitas, a youth team of Argentinos Juniors, he played a crucial role in an unprecedented 136-game winning streak at the age of 10, which in turn led him to make his senior side debut just before his 16th birthday.
Maradona made his debut for Argentina soon afterwards, on 27 February 1977, coming on as a 65th minute replacement in a friendly versus Hungary at La Bombonera, the home of Boca Juniors, which Maradona joined in 1981. He spent just one season at the club, but netted a spectacular solo goal against River Plate's archrivals at that time and helped Boca win the championship.
It was no wonder that Maradona was soon pursued by Europe 's hugest clubs, considering his rapid growth and regularly dominant performances, and in 1982, having appeared at his first World Cup, in Spain, he joined Barcelona for a then world record £ 5 million fee.
However, partially due to the fractured ankle he suffered in September 1983 from a tackle by the "Butcher of Bilbao," Andoni Goicoechea, he failed to demonstrate his best form for the Catalans. But Maradona ultimately recovered and joined Napoli in 1984. The World Cup in Mexico came two years later and the moment he set himself up as
a truly wonderful player.
The captain of Argentina played every minute of each match, scoring five goals and delivering assists for five others. He was magnificent throughout,
the most versatile and enjoyable player in the game
, and took the breath away at the Azteca Stadium with his second goal against England, when he turned past two players on the halfway line before breaking past another pair and went around Peter Shilton under stress from Terry Butcher's lunge before throwing the ball into an open net. It was a spectacular show of skill linked to courage, and it is not shocking that some still refer to the attack as "the goal of the century."
Maradona netted his first in the game four minutes earlier. The No 10 of Argentina obviously kicked the ball past Shilton as the pair fought for a high ball, but the goal stood, despite prompting complaints from the men of Bobby Robson. “It’s not nice when you lose a World Cup quarter-final under those circumstances, Butcher stated in 2008. It’s very hard to forgive and forget in the circumstances.”
At Italia 90, when the team he coached ended up as runners-up, and at USA 94, when he was sent home after playing against Nigeria in what appeared to be his final performance for his country, Maradona took part in two more World Cups. Maradona was capped 91 times in total, scoring 34 goals, the last against Greece in Argentina's opening World Cup game in 1994.
Following his separation from Napoli, Maradona joined Sevilla at club level, before heading to his home country to play for Newell's Old Boys and Boca, where he retired in 1997.
He managed Argentina for two years after his personal struggles, leading them to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where the team including Juan Sebastian Verón, Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi made it to the quarterfinals. A year later, having left the national team post, he took over the Al-Wasl club in Dubai before taking on a variety of roles, most notably as manager of the Gimnasia y Esgrima Argentinian First Division group.
But it's because of
his playing tricks that Maradona is best known
. Having been voted South American Footballer of the Year on five occasions, after a mixture of an internet poll and nominations from Fifa officials, coaches and teams, he was named Fifa's Player of the Century alongside Pelé in 2000. Maradona won the popular vote.
Here are Some of the world's latest reactions to Maradona's Death on twitter...
"I watched Asif Kapadia’s superb documentary on Maradona on a flight and startled the family next to me by laughing out loud at some of the ludicrous skill in the clips. Most would agree Maradona reached the height of his powers at the 1986 World Cup, when he dragged a good-but-not-great Argentina team to the title".
“A sad day for football and for Argentina too. But as Maradona was so great at making people smile (even English people!), here is a happy memory. My favourite football quote of all time is from Héctor Enrique, the man who passed Maradona the ball in midfield, despite his being surrounded by three English shirts. Asked about the subsequent ‘goal of the century’ his teammate scored, Enrique smiled mischievously, then laughed “Well with a pass like that, he could hardly miss, could he?!” RIP Diego and thanks for all the wonderful memories. You were the best of heroes and the best of villains, and you lit up the world for football lovers everywhere.”
"I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Diego Maradona, one of world football’s greatest and most iconic figures. He achieved greatness as a wonderful player with a genius and charisma of his own."
"The reaction of Maradona’s death just shows how much football and the players mean to people, it’s so much more than just a sport. Rest In Peace Diego."
"A man who defined an era"
"Maradona was a blessing to watch"
"Diego Maradona was special"
I’ve just finished work and only just seen the news. What an icon, what a life! One of the true greats of the beautiful game.
RIP Diego Maradona. Soccer ball
Maradona died and Football Matches are still being held Today. What's the Colour of Fifa Mąådness?
Classic from Peter Reid ....”Did you have a word with Maradona after the Hand of God goal”?
“Well to be fair my Spanish wasn’t great and his Scouse wasn’t great “ .....#RipDiego
The entertainer of my generation…
only certain lives were lived that changed the world and diego maradona’s was one of them