Legendary footballer Diego Maradona dies of heart attack at 60
Legendary footballer Diego Maradona died of a heart attack on Wednesday. The Argentina World Cup hero was 60.
Maradona led Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986
Maradona, who had several health issues, underwent brain surgery earlier this month
Football legend and Argentina hero Diego Maradona died of a heart attack on Wednesday, aged 60. Maradona’s attorney confirmed the passing away of the football icon, saying he suffered the attack at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires.
Diego Maradona had been suffering from health issues in the recent past. Maradona underwent successful surgery for possible bleeding on his brain as recently as November after being admitted to a local hospital in Buenos Aires with signs of depression.
The UEFA will honour Diego Maradona by a minute of silence before Wednesday’s Champions League matches. Argentine President Alberto Fernandez declared three days of national mourning.
“Argentina’s football association, through its president Claudio Tapia, shared its deepest pain over the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts,” the Argentina football association said in a statement.
Genius on the field struggled with health issues off it
Maradona’s rags-to-riches story served as an inspiration for quite a few as he went on to become one of the greatest footballers of all time. The Argentina hero led the national side to World Cup glory in 1986, showcasing that he was a generational talent.
Maradona was the fifth of 8 children who grew up in a poor, gritty barrio on the Buenos Aires outskirts where he played a kind of dirt-patch football that launched many Argentines to international stardom. In 2001, FIFA named Maradona one of the two greatest in the sport’s history, alongside Pele.
He was a gifted football player who terrorised opposition defence but off the field, Maradona battled drug addiction. 8 years after the World Cup glory with Argentina, Maradona was kicked out of the 1994 World Cup due to drug use.
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.
Maradona powers Napoli to European elite
Maradona played from 1976-81 for first division club Argentinos Juniors, then went to Boca Juniors for a year before heading to Barcelona for a world-record $8 million.
In 1984, Barcelona sold him to Napoli, in Italy. He remade its fortunes almost single-handedly, taking it to the 1987 Italian league championship for its first title in 60 years.
A year after losing the 1990 World Cup final to West Germany, Maradona moved to Spanish club Sevilla, but his career was on the decline. He played five matches at Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys in 1994 before returning to Boca from 1995-97 — his final club and closest to his heart.
Remembering the ‘Hand of God’
Diego Maradona died after suffering a heart attack at his home in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, those close to him confirmed.
Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona died on Wednesday less than a month after his 60th birthday will always be worshipped like a god for his genius with the ball.
Here are some facts about Maradona:
The fifth of eight children of a factory worker, Maradona was born on October 30, 1960, in a shantytown on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. He made his debut with the first-division soccer club Argentinos Juniors in 1976, days before turning 16.
He led Argentina’s Boca Juniors to the league championship in 1982 and was transferred to Spain’s Barcelona for a record $3 million. He moved to Italy’s Napoli in 1984 and carried it to its only two championships in 1987 and 1990.
Heralded as soccer’s leading player, Maradona scored the epic “Hand of God” goal as Argentina defeated England 2-1 in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals and led Argentina’s 3-2 victory over Germany in the World Cup final.
In 1991, he failed a doping test in Italy and was suspended for 15 months. He was also investigated over alleged Mafia ties and later arrested in Argentina for cocaine possession. He tested positive for drug use during the 1994 World Cup and was suspended from the tournament. He came back with Boca Juniors in 1995, but failed another drug test two years later before retiring.
In 2000, Maradona was hospitalized in Uruguay with heart problems and tests revealed cocaine use. He underwent drug rehabilitation in Cuba. Appearing overweight, Maradona spent 10 days in 2004 in intensive care in Argentina with heart and breathing problems. He was confined to a psychiatric hospital, then returned to Cuba for more treatment.
Slimmer after a stomach-stapling operation, Maradona launched a successful TV talk show in Argentina in 2005 that lasted for one season.