Football Loses Its Golden Boy As Diego Maradona Passes Away At 60
Maradona led his country to World Cup glory in 1986 and was one of the greatest players of all time.
Football legend Diego Maradona has passed away at home in Tigre after suffering a heart attack, according to reports in Argentina.
Maradona led his country to World Cup glory in 1986.
The former Argentina attacking midfielder and manager had a successful surgery on a brain blood clot earlier on 11 November.
It had been then announced that he needed to be treated for alcohol dependency.
The Argentine Football Association released a statement through its president Claudio Tapia, saying it "expresses its deepest pain at the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You'll always be in our hearts."
One of the greatest players of all time, Maradona was captain when Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, producing a series of sublime individual performances. His most memorable performance from the 1986 World Cup was against England when he scored a magical goal and a controversial one which was later called the ‘Hand of God’.
It was after the 51st minute of their quarter-final against England in the, deemed by the referee to have been headed, the ball had actually been punched over the keeper and the line.
Four minutes later Maradona scored what would turn out to be the match-winner, a goal acclaimed as one of the greatest ever scored, a matter of 10.8 seconds, 44 strides and 12 touches, during which he dribbled past five opposition players, dribbled around the goalkeeper, Peter Shilton, with a feint, and slipped the ball into the net.
“I felt like applauding,” was the rueful comment of the England striker Gary Lineker.
Maradona scored more than 300 goals in his career and it was he coined the term ‘Hand of God’ after the game against England at the Mexico World Cup. They eventually beat West Germany 3-2 in the final at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on 29 June.
Maradona’s most successful stints in club football came in Italy with Napoli who announced in 2000 that they were retiring his No 10 shirt.
It was during his stay in Naples though that Maradona’s addiction to cocaine took a grip over him and he was hit with a 15-month suspension for drug violations in 1991 – the year he left Napoli. Three years later at USA World Cup in 1994 he was thrown out after testing positive for ephedrine.
Maradona would go on to coach the national team to the 2010 World Cup where they were knocked out by Germany in the quarterfinal.
Maradona will be remembered for his playing exploits which won plenty of accolades. He was named South American Footballer of the Year on five occasions and was named FIFA’s Player of the Century alongside Pele following a combination of an internet poll and nominations from FIFA officials, coaches and players. Maradona won the popular vote.
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