Diego Maradona died on Wednesday at the age of sixty, the Argentine Football Association confirms. The football legend has succumbed to cardiac arrest.
Maradona became a hero in Naples
Follow all about Maradona’s death in us liveblog.
Maradona was already in hospital in Olivos, Argentina, earlier this month and underwent surgery for a blood clot in his brain. He was recovering from that two-hour operation on Wednesday at his home in Tigre, a suburb of Buenos Aires, when he went into cardiac arrest and it was fatal.
Due to Maradona’s death, the Argentine government has declared three days of national mourning. Maradona, who was active as a player from 1976 to 1997, is considered one of the greatest football players of all time.
Maradona was the star player of the Argentinian team that won the world title in Mexico in 1986 by a 3-2 victory in the final against West Germany. Four years later, he reached the final again with his country, but then the Germans lost 1-0.
In a club context, Maradona was active for FC Barcelona, Sevilla and Napoli, among others. Especially at the latter club he became a legend by leading the club to the league title in 1987 and 1990. These are still the only two championships of Napoli, which also won the UEFA Cup in 1989 with Maradona as the big star.
Maradona’s highlight with the Argentina side was the quarter final of the 1986 World Cup against England, in which he scored with an unparalleled solo, a goal that is considered one of the most beautiful hits ever. He also scored that game with a handball, better known by the nickname “the hand of God”.
Maradona also played at the 1982, 1990 and 1994 World Cups. At the latter World Cup he was caught using doping and had to leave the tournament.
Three years after the 1994 World Cup, the now almost 37-year-old Maradona played his last game in the service of Boca Juniors as a professional. The 91-time international was struggling with overweight and was again caught using banned substances.
In the years that followed, Maradona struggled with numerous addictions and in 2004 he had been in hospital for a long time and was feared for his life. The hero of the Argentinian recovered wonderfully and became the national coach of his country in 2008. At the 2010 World Cup, he led his country to the quarter-finals, in which Germany was far too strong (4-0).
In recent years, Maradona has had a modest coaching career with Dubai and Mexico and was chairman of the Belarusian Dinamo Brest. In 2019 he became trainer Gimnasia de la Plata in Argentina and he remained so until his death.