Football GOAT contender Diego Maradona no more


DIEGO ARMANDO MARADONA, a divine talent and universally acknowledged as one of the greatest footballers of all time, is no more.

The Argentinian legend and World Cup-winning captain passed away Wednesday aged 60 following a heart attack, having undergone brain surgery earlier this month, a member of his entourage confirmed to AFP. 

Inarguably one of the greatest players to ever play the Beautiful Game, Maradona's life was marked by wild highs and lows, with Argentina and with club sides Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli.

Argentina has announced a 3-day national mourning in the country.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez also paid his last tribute to the footballing icon. Taking to Twitter, Fernandez tweeted: "You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all. Thanks for having existed, Diego. We will miss you for life."

The Napoli FC team posted a photo of Maradona exulting in the team’s sky-blue shirt with the caption “Forever” and a blue heart, tweeting “Ciao Diego”.

The mayor of Naples, Luigi De Magistris, proclaimed a day of mourning for the death of Maradona, while the lights of the San Paolo stadium in Naples will stay on all night to pay respect to the Argentinian champion.

De Magistris also proposed to retitle the stadium in Maradona’s name. “I ask for a day of mourning and at the same time that our stadium that witnessed so many of his successes may bear his name.”

In his tribute to Maradona, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin perfectly summed up what the legend meant to the game and the world at large: "I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Diego Maradona, one of world football’s greatest and most iconic figures. I was in touch recently to wish him well, and this news comes as a considerable shock to me.

"Diego Maradona achieved greatness as a wonderful player with a genius and charisma of his own. He was a hero in his native Argentina, with whom he enjoyed World Cup glory, and became an eternal idol for the supporters of Napoli, who will never forget the successes he brought to the club during his memorable spell in Italy.

"He will go down in history as someone who set football alight and thrilled fans young and old with his brilliance and skill. I have instructed UEFA to hold a minute’s silence in memory of Diego at this week’s matches."