Argentine legend Diego Maradona who scored the “Hand of God” goal in 1986 in opposition to England and led his nation to the 1986 World Cup title earlier than later battling cocaine use and weight problems, has died at the age of 60.
Maradona informed France Football journal final month forward of his sixtieth birthday that it was his dream to “score another goal against the English, this time with the right hand.”
“The Argentine Football Association, through its President Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts,” The Argentine Football Association tweeted on Wednesday.
Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez has introduced three days of nationwide mourning for the loss of the celebrity considered one of the best football gamers in historical past.
“You took us to the top of the world. You made us feel incredibly happy. You were the greatest of all. Thank you for having existed,” Fernandez tweeted.
Aleksander Čeferin, president of the Union of European Football Associations, UEFA, mentioned a in an announcement;
“He will go down in historical past as somebody who set football alight and thrilled followers younger and outdated together with his brilliance and talent.”
Maradona’s spokesman, Sebastián Sanchi, mentioned the iconic soccer participant died on Wednesday after struggling a coronary heart assault at his dwelling in Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina. His demise got here two weeks after being launched from a hospital in Buenos Aires following mind surgical procedure.
The No. 10 he wore on his jersey turned synonymous with him, identical with Pele, the iconic Brazilian football participant with whom Maradona was recurrently paired as the finest of all time in the historical past of the recreation.
In an announcement, Pele mentioned he had misplaced “a dear friend.”
“There is much more to say, but for now may God give his family strength,” Pelé mentioned. “One day, I hope, we will play soccer together in the sky.”
“Everything he was thinking in his head, he made it happen with his feet,” mentioned Salvatore Bagni, who performed with Maradona at Italian membership Napoli.
Maradona, who was hospitalized close to demise in 2000 and once more in 2004 for coronary heart issues blamed on cocaine, later mentioned he overcame the drug downside. Cocaine, he as soon as mentioned famously, had confirmed to be his “toughest rival.”
He made his skilled debut for Argentinos Juniors on October 20, 1976, ten days earlier than his sixteenth birthday when he entered the pitch sporting the quantity 16 jersey to play in opposition to Talleres de Córdoba. He turned the youngest participant in the historical past of Argentine Primera División.
Watch Maradona “Hand of God” goal, 1986 World cup
Maradona, who turned a family identify in football, ended his taking part in profession again in Argentina in 1997, returning to Boca. He had a short and controversy-packed spell as Argentine nationwide staff coach from 2008 to 2010 earlier than membership teaching in the Middle East and (*60*)
During his time, Maradona made 694 appearances and scored 354 objectives for membership and nation mixed, with a goalscoring common of 0.51.
Maradona is survived by his longtime associate, Veronica Ojeda, two daughters, two sons, and his former spouse, Claudia Villafane.