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Global football stakeholders mourns Maradona



Diego Maradona

Unlimited tributes have been pouring in for the late Diego Maradona who died at the age of 60 on Wednesday, TopNaija reports.


Maradona suffered cardiac arrest at a home in Tigre, Argentina after recuperating from the removal of a blood clot on the brain.

Widely considered as one of the greatest footballers of all time, Maradona netted an incredible 38 goals in 58 appearances for Barcelona, whom he joined in 1982, before moving to Napoli in 1984 and winning two Serie A titles in Naples.

He also had a one-season stint at Sevilla after leaving Napoli and whilst he did not have the same impact in Spain as he did in Italy and at international level for Argentina.

Reacting to Maradona’s death Sunday Oliseh who played against the late legend in Nigeria’s 2-1 loss to Argentina in the group stage of the 1994 World Cup which the Eagles lost 2-1, wrote, “Sad day not just for football but for mankind as we lost arguably the best player ever to play football.

“Somehow Diego’s death pains me in a strange kind of way, I can’t seem to understand right now. May his blessed soul rest in peace.”

Emmanuel Amuneke also mourned the late Maradona in a tweet, “One of the greatest players’ ever. Rest in Peace Diego #Maradona.

“Today, I lost a friend, the greatest of all time Diego Maradona. Rest on brother, you are in a better place,” Daniel Amokachi wrote.

“R.I.P Diego Maradona. Your memory will live on forever,” Nwankwo Kanu stated.

Brazilian football great Pele also mourned his fellow legend Maradona.

“What sad news. I lost a great friend (Maradona) and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members.

“One day, I hope we can play football together in the sky,” 80-year-old Pele wrote on Twitter.

Lionel Messi also added, “A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal. I keep all the beautiful moments lived with him and I send my condolences to all his family and friends. RIP.”

Cristiano Ronaldo also tweeted, “I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius.

“One of the best ever, an unparalleled magician. He left too soon, but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten.”

PSG star Kylian Mbappe wrote,” RIP Legend. You will stay in the history of football forever. Thank you for all the pleasure you gave to the whole world.”

Carles Puyol, former Barcelona captain, wrote, “Rest in peace, my friend. A very strong hug for your family and for the Argentine people.”

Davor Suker, who played alongside him at Sevilla also added, “The greatest in history is leaving, the best footballer in the world.

“I am very sorry for his family and for the pain they will feel right now. I was lucky to play with him, to be his friend, to enjoy his football, to share a dressing room. I feel a great sorrow. The greatest is leaving us.”

Former Manchester United and England midfielder Bryan Robson, who missed the quarter-final loss to Argentina at the 1986 World Cup through injury, said Maradona was undoubtedly the best of his era.

“What a player he was – undoubtedly the best of his era and up there with the likes of Pele among the greatest ever,” Robson said.

“He won the 1986 World Cup for Argentina more or less on his own. The football he played and the goals he scored in that tournament were unbelievable.

Diego Maradona

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – JUNE 29: Diego Maradona of Argentina holds the World Cup trophy after defeating West Germany 3-2 during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Final match at the Azteca Stadium on June 29, 1986 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Archivo El Grafico/Getty Images)

Gary Lineker, who played in the England side in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final defeat, also wrote, “By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time.

“After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego”

Meanwhile, Argentina’s president Alberto Fernandez has decreed three days of mourning following the death of Maradona.

Also all schools in Naples, Italy will be closed (Thursday) tomorrow in honour of their former player, with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis admitting he could rename the San Paolo stadium after him.

Diego Armando Maradona was born on 30 October 1960, at the Policlínico (Polyclinic) Evita Hospital in Lanús, Buenos Aires Province, to a poor family that had moved from Corrientes Province; he was raised in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

He was the first son after four daughters. He has two younger brothers, Hugo (el Turco) and Raúl (Lalo), both of whom were also professional football players. His parents were Diego Maradona “Chitoro” (1927–2015) and Dalma Salvadora Franco ‘Doña Tota’ (1930–2011). They were both born and brought up in the town of Esquina in the north-east province of Corrientes Province, living only two hundred metres from each other on the banks of the Corriente River.

In 1950, they left Esquina and settled in Buenos Aires. At age eight, Maradona was spotted by a talent scout while he was playing in his neighbourhood club Estrella Roja. He became a staple of Los Cebollitas (The Little Onions), the junior team of Buenos Aires’s Argentinos Juniors. As a 12-year-old ball boy, he amused spectators by showing his wizardry with the ball during the halftime intermissions of first division games.

He named Brazilian playmaker Rivelino and Manchester United winger George Best among his inspirations growing up.

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