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It was stated that Maradona would require constant support, including admission to an alcohol addiction clinic, following his discharge from hospital. However, according to some news sources, while recovering at home, Maradona suffered a heart attack and passed away shortly afterward.
The Argentine Football Association confirmed the news on Wednesday and posted a short message on its social media platforms.
‘The Argentine Football Association, through its President Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts,’ it tweeted.
Maradona emerged from the youth ranks in the late 1970s at Argentinos Juniors, where he scored 116 goals from 167 games before signing for one of the country’s biggest clubs, Boca Juniors. His talents were soon spotted by Europe’s top scouts, and he was lured away to La Liga by Barcelona before joining unfashionable Serie A side Napoli in 1984, where he became a legend.
On the international stage, Maradona’s hot-headed nature was on show as he exploded into the Argentina national team ahead of the 1982 World Cup in Spain. But his temper got the better of him when he was sent off for kicking out at Brazilian player Batista in the knockout stages as Argentina crashed out of the tournament.
Maradona returned four years later with a point to prove, and produced arguably the best tournament performance by a single player in World Cup history as he led Argentina to the top of the world at the 1986 World Cup.
His infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal against hated rivals England elevated Maradona, already an icon in his homeland, to even greater heights, while his second goal in the game, a mesmerising run from inside his own half, is still regarded by many as the greatest goal ever scored in World Cup.
His career went on the decline after 1986, but he still led Argentina to the final of the 1990 World up, issues with banned substances marred his appearance four years later in the United States, and gave a glimpse of the troubles that would befall him after his career.
Maradona latterly stayed in the game as a manager, and enjoyed stints with a host of clubs, including Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah, Dorados de Sinaloa and, most recently, Gimnasia de La Plata.
He also took charge of the Argentina national team between 2008 and 2010 and led the team into the 2010 World Cup, where they were eventually eliminated in the quarter-finals.
Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez announced three days of national mourning for the passing of the superstar, and posted a tribute to Maradona on Twitter.
‘You took us to the top of the world. You made us feel incredibly happy. You were the greatest of all. Thank you for having existed,’ it read.
Meanwhile, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said a minute’s silence would be observed ahead of all European matches this week in honor of the Argentine.
‘He will go down in history as someone who set football alight and thrilled fans young and old with his brilliance and skill,’ Čeferin said in a statement.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK