Sports

Soccer legend Diego Maradona dead at 60

Soccer legend Diego Maradona dead at 60

Diego Maradona, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, died Wednesday at the age of 60.

The Argentinian legend, who led his country to a World Cup victory in 1986, died of a heart attack, his spokesman, Sebastian Sanchi, told the Associated Press. Maradona had recently undergone brain surgery to remove a blood clot and was released from the hospital on Nov. 11.

Upon news of Maradona’s death, Argentina president Alberto Fernández declared three days of national mourning.

“You took us to the top of the world,” Fernández wrote on Twitter. “You made us incredibly happy. You were the greatest of all.”

On the way to Argentina’s 1986 World Cup title, Maradona cemented his legacy when he scored two goals in a quarterfinal win over England — one known as the “Hand of God” for an uncalled handball as he punched it into the net, and the other four minutes later after dribbling 60 yards by himself through the defense. He later earned the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.

Diego Maradona
Diego MaradonaGetty Images

In 91 career international appearances for Argentina, including four World Cups, Maradona scored 34 goals.

“You will always be in our hearts,” the Argentine Football Association wrote on Twitter.

Maradona, who also had a less successful stint as coach of the Argentina national team from 2008-10, previously survived two heart attacks in addition to undergoing gastric bypass surgery after suffering from obesity. He was still involved in the game as recently as this year, coaching a local club, Gimnasia y Esgrima, since 2019.

After being released from the hospital eight days removed from brain surgery earlier this month, Maradona was moved to a rehab facility to recover from his alcohol dependency, according to reports.

During his career, Maradona battled cocaine addiction, once calling it his “toughest rival.”

Maradona was known as a masterful midfielder, using his powerful 5-foot-5 frame to carve through opponents. He played at the club level for Barcelona and Napoli, among others, and was named a co-winner, along with Pelé, of the FIFA Player of the Century award.

“There is much more to say, but for now may God give his family strength,” Pelé said in a statement. “One day, I hope, we will play soccer together in the sky.”

Other tributes to the man who wore No. 10 came pouring in on social media Wednesday.

“The world awaits our words but there are no words to describe the pain we’re going through. Now is the time to grieve. Diego,” Napoli, the club Maradona played for from 1984-91, posted to its official Twitter account.

“A very sad day for all Argentines and football,” Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi wrote in an Instagram post, according to a translation. “He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal.”

“Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius. One of the best ever,” Cristiano Ronaldo wrote in a tweet, according to a translation. “An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten.”

All UEFA Champions League matches this week will observe a pregame minute of silence for Maradona.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Diego Maradona, one of world football’s greatest and most iconic figures,” UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said in a statement. “He achieved greatness as a wonderful player with a genius and charisma of his own.

“He will go down in history as someone who set football alight and thrilled fans young and old with his brilliance and skill.”

About the author

Avatar

Evan Lewis

With a knack for storytelling, Evan started News Brig about a year ago. Covering substantial topics under the Sports,, he helps information seep in deeper with creative writing and content management skills.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News