Yesterday, the world was devastated by the news that Argentinian football legend, Diego Maradona, passed away from a heart attack. We take a look at the heartfelt tributes to the man who was arguably the greatest footballer of all time.
Maradona, who turned 60 on 30 October, was suffering from a heart condition for some time and underwent surgery for a blood clot in his brain. After being discharged from hospital a month ago, he went home to Tigre to continue his recovery.
Arguably Maradona’s finest achievement in his career came when he won the 1986 World Cup with Argentina. He also had a glittering career with Napoli, with whom he won two Italian Serie A titles.
“Certainly, one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above, Diego. It is so sad to lose friends like this.” read an emotional message from Brazilian Pele, with whom Maradona shared the award for FIFA’s Best Player of the 20th Century.
Maradona’s 1986 World Cup teammate, Jorge Valdano was brought to tears live on air when he spoke about Maradona’s untimely death.
“The news surprised me a lot and, like with everyone, it has really hurt me for the player and for his family,” he started when speaking on Movistar+. “Many of those memories made me smile,” he said, before breaking down into tears.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi, who has been frequently compared to his compatriot over the years in a never-ending debate over who the greatest of all time really is, paid his own tribute to the man affectionately known as Dios (God).
“This is a very sad day for all Argentines and for football,” Messi wrote in a post on Instagram, in which he shared a photo of the two legendary No.10s together.
“He has left us, but he hasn’t gone, because Diego is eternal.
“I remember all the nice moments we experienced together and I send my condolences to all his family and his friends. RIP.”
The other player who will always be part of the debate about who the greatest is, Cristiano Ronaldo, paid his own tribute to the man who he described as an “eternal genius”.
“Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius,” The Portuguese star wrote on social media.
“One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled.
“Rest in peace, legend. You will never be forgotten.”
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