– Soccer legend Diego Maradona succumbed to heart attack on 25th November 2020, aged 60.
– Argentina President Alberto Fernández has declared a 3-day national mourning period.
The world of football was left in mourning on Wednesday when news broke about the passing of Argentina legend and one of football’s greats, Diego Armando Maradona.
He passed away in his home country of Argentina at the age of 60 after suffering a heart attack.
Born on 30th October 1960 in the Buenos Aires Province of Argentina, Diego Armando Maradona was a talented force from the onset. As a little boy, he amused match spectators by showing his wizardly with the ball during halftime intermissions of first division games. His two younger brothers, Hugo and Raul, also grew and developed into becoming professional footballers.
Diego made his first-ever debut for Argentinos Juniors in 1976, just ten days before celebrating his 16th birthday. He would make a full international debut for Argentina a year later. In 1978, he experienced his first low after failing to secure admission to the squad for the World Cup finals in Argentina.
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In 1979, however, he captained Argentina to victory in the World Youth Cup in Japan. In 1981, Diego won the Argentinian league title with Boca Juniors and moved to Barcelona the following year after the World Cup finals. His time at Barcelona lasted two seasons, adversely marred with illnesses and injuries.
In 1984, he proceeded to Napoli in Italy. It was at Napoli that he scored the infamous ‘hand of God’ goal in 1986. In the same year, he led Argentina to a 3-2 triumph over West Germany in the World Cup finals. In 1987, he had another great high after he led Napoli to win its first-ever Italian League title. In the following year, he clinched the UEFA Cup winners’ medal, being Napoli’s first triumph in Europe.
In 1990, Diego led Napoli to their second Italian title. In the same year, he experienced another low after captaining Argentina to the World Cup finals and losing 1-0 to Germany.
In 1995, he staged two unsuccessful coaching stints with lower-division Argentinian clubs, but experiencing perennial hurdles, he returned to playing action with Boca Juniors and won 1-0 in a maiden match with Colon. He played his final match for Boca on 25th October 1997 against River Plate and won 2-1. He bowed out of the game, having played 30 matches and scored 7 goals.
He was admitted to a hospital in Uruguay with a severe heart condition after prolonged periods of cocaine use. He met his son Diego Armando Jr for the first time in 2003 after 17 years.
In 2004, he was admitted to a Buenos Aires hospital in critical condition with breathing difficulties.
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On 2 November 2020, Maradona was admitted to a hospital in La Plata, supposedly for psychological reasons. A representative of the ex-footballer said his condition was not serious. A day later, he underwent emergency brain surgery to treat a subdural hematoma. He was released on 12 November after successful surgery and was supervised by doctors as an outpatient.
On 25 November 2020, at the age of 60, Maradona died of a heart attack at his home in Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina. In a statement on social media, the Argentine Football Association expressed “its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend”, adding: “You will always be in our hearts.” President Alberto Fernández has announced three days of national mourning.