Football legend Diego Maradona passed away on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack. Maradona, 60, had recently battled health issues and underwent emergency surgery for a subdural haematoma several weeks ago.
Diego suffered a heart attack at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires on Wednesday, Argentinian media and acquaintances of the former player said.
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez declared three days of national mourning after the news of Maradona’s death.
Retired Brazilian soccer star Pelé mourned the death of Maradona. “Certainly, one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above,” he said in a brief statement provided to Reuters by a representative.
After retiring Maradona developed heart problems caused by cocaine addiction, and he endured wild weight and fitness swings that seemed to reflect his do-or-die attitudes to both soccer and life.
Years of drug use, overeating and alcoholism truncated a stellar career and altered his appearance from the lithe athlete who could slalom effortlessly through teams to a bloated addict who nearly died of cocaine-induced heart failure in 2000.
But he reinvented himself in a stunning comeback in 2008 as coach of the Argentina team, persuading managers that with sheer charisma he could inspire the team to victory, despite a lack of coaching experience.
In Argentina, he was worshipped as ‘El Dios’ – The God – partly a play on words on his number 10 shirt, ‘El Diez.’
He was largely responsible for Argentina’s World Cup victory in 1986 in Mexico, scoring two famous goals in one game against England in the quarter-finals.