Buenos Aires, November 25
Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest ever players, died of a heart attack on Wednesday, his lawyer said.
Maradona, 60, had recently battled health issues and underwent surgery for a subdural haematoma several weeks ago. He suffered a heart attack at his home on the outskirts of Buenos Aires on Wednesday, Argentinian media and acquaintances of the former player said.
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez declared three days of national mourning.
Retired Brazilian soccer star Pele was among those who mourned the Argentine player. “Certainly, one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above,” he said in a brief statement provided by a representative. Maradona’s pinnacle of glory came when he captained Argentina to win the World Cup in 1986, before plunging to misery when he was kicked out the 1994 World Cup for doping.
Years of drug use, overeating and alcoholism truncated a stellar career and altered his appearance from a lithe athlete who could slalom effortlessly through teams to a bloated addict who nearly died of cocaine-induced heart failure in 2000.
Famed for the “Hand of God” goal in which he punched the ball into England’s net during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals, Maradona captivated fans over a two-decade career with a bewitching style of play that was all his own.
The No. 10 he wore on his jersey became synonymous with him, as it also had with Pele, the Brazilian great with whom Maradona was regularly paired as the best of all time. — Agencies
End of an Era
Argentine soccer great died of a heart attack. Battling health issues, he underwent surgery several weeks ago.
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