Diego Maradona, possibly the most talked about footballer in the history of the game, has died aged 60.
Argentina’s favourite son, Maradona was as uncertain as he was gifted. He died at home, according to his representative and friend Matías Morla.
The 5 feet 5-inch football wizard had been retrieving from an operation to extract a blood clot from his brain and was most lately discharged from the hospital near Buenos Aires on 11 November.
Argentina will observe three days of national grief, the office of the country’s president said.
Born in Lanus, Argentina on October 30 1960, Maradona’s football career started in earnest in the mid-1970s with first division outfit Argentinos Juniors. He grew from there to one of his nation’s best-known sides, Boca Juniors. And it was there he got the eye of Spanish giants, Barcelona, who locked him up in 1982 for what was then a world-record fee of £5m.
In 1984 Maradona was picked up by Napoli, for yet another account fee of £6.9m.
For his country, Maradona earned 91 caps, scoring 34 goals.
Personal responses came thick and fast. The president of Argentina was one of the first. “You took us to the heights of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the most famous of all,” Alberto Fernandez tweeted.
Fellow Argentine and avid football fan Pope Francis got Maradona in his prayers on Wednesday, the Vatican said.
Matteo Bruni, the spokesman for the Holy See, said that the pope, after being informed of Maradona’s death,” thinks back fondly to the times they met in these years and remembers him in prayer.”
Further tributes have appeared in from international football stars past and present.
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