Football legend Diego Maradona dies of cardiac arrest at 60
KOLKATA (India) — Argentina football legend Diego Maradona has died after a major cardiac arrest, his lawyer confirmed the tragedy Wednesday.
The acquaintances of the footballer and lawyer said he suffered a heart attack when he was at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Three ambulances rushed to the spot immediately, local media reported, but could not retrieve the legendary No. 10.
The football legend, 60, just recently suffered from several health-related issues in the last few months, and reportedly underwent emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma in the brain several weeks ago.
“Curtains for the Magic of Maradona, of great fame & shame; of a magical foot & a mischievous hand. All said & done, still a great legend who brought joy to every football fan in the world. An All-Time great” wrote Indian spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev, also called Sadhguru, on Twitter.
Scores of tributes started to pour in from the sports and entertainment fraternity.
Widely regarded as one of football’s most iconic figures to ever grace the game’s history, Maradona was adored in his homeland as well as the world for leading Argentina to win the 1986 World Cup.
“I have two dreams,” Maradona famously told a local television television when he was just 17. “My first dream is to play in the World Cup. And the second dream is to win it.”
“He leaves us but he isn’t going anywhere, because Diego is eternal,” Lionel Messi wrote on Twitter. “I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend,”
“What sad news. I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members. One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky,” Pele, 80, wrote.
“My hero no more ..my mad genius rest in peace. I watched football for you..,” wrote Indian cricket star Sourav Ganguly on Twitter.
Pele is the only footballer in the world who is considered to have come closest to Maradona in terms of on-field skills. Maradona, despite being short and stout was outstanding on the field with his pitch-perfect control on the ball.
However, life proved to be more difficult for the football star, than tackling opponents on the field, which he did effortlessly. From waves of addiction to health repercussions in the later-stages, his life was dotted with pain.
“You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all,” Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez wrote on Twitter. Argentina has declared three days of mourning.
The untimely death of the star came after years of drug abuse, alcoholism, and other substance abuse. He nearly lost his life from a cardiac arrest in 2000.
The Argentinian Football Association issued a statement on social media expressing “its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend”, adding: “You will always be in our hearts.”
Diego Maradona’s career touched the pinnacle for leading Argentia to grab the World Cup and winning two Serie A titles with the Italian side for Barcelona.
The football star reportedly grappled with alcohol addiction in the later stages of his life, and at one point, his cocaine addiction took him to deep waters where he was suspended for 15 months for testing positive for the drug in 1991.
Juventas and Portugal forward Christiano Ronaldo wrote: “Today I bid farewell to a friend and the world bids farewell to an eternal genius. One of the best of all time. 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.”
“FC Barcelona expresses its deepest condolences regarding the death of Diego Armando Maradona, a player for our club (1982-84) and an icon of world football. Rest in peace Diego,” the Spanish football club wrote on Twitter.
Maradona is survived by two daughters, Dalma and Gianinna, and a son Diego Junior whom he shared with wife Claudia Villafane (divorced in 2004).