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Football world pays tribute to one of the greatest footballers of all time, Diego Maradona

Football pays tribute to one of the greatest footballers of all time

The football world is in mourning following the tragic news that Diego Maradona, one of the sport’s legendary players, has died at the age of 60.

Regarded by many as one of the greatest footballers of all time, Maradona was also one of the game’s most colourful characters.

Maradona became famous in his native Buenos Aires from a very young age thanks to his extraordinary ability.

He went on to make his professional debut with Argentinos Juniors in 1976 before joining Boca Juniors in 1981.

Maradona then left South America for Europe in 1982, signing for Barcelona for a then-world record £5 million fee.

Napoli have only ever won two Serie A titles in their history – in 1987 and 1990 – and Maradona was responsible for both of them.

During his time in Naples, where he will forever be a hero, Maradona also inspired Argentine to glory at the 1986 World Cup finals in Mexico.

Tributes have poured in from the world of football starting from Maradona’s old adversary, Pele. The Brazilian great is regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time and his tweet went viral on the sudden death of his South American brother.

The 80-year-old tweeted: “What sad news. I lost a great friend 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 ball together in the sky.”

His country Argentina also tweeted a tribute to Maradona who led them to World Cup glory in Mexico 1986.

Argentina and Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi posted on Instagram saying though Diego Maradona is dead that he “hasn’t gone.”

“A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He’s left us but he hasn’t gone, because Diego is eternal,” he wrote alongside pictures of the two of them together.

“I’ll keep all the great times I enjoyed with him and want to take the opportunity to send my deepest respects to all his family and friends. RIP.”

Messi was long seen as the heir to Maradona’s throne as the king of Argentine and indeed world football.

Juventus star and Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo describes Diego Maradona as an “eternal genius, one of the best ever and unparalleled magician.”

Translated, his post reads: “Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius. 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, ace. You will never be forgotten.”

People light flares as they gather under a mural of Diego Maradona in Naples. Photograph: Fabio Sasso/AP
People light flares as they gather under a mural of Diego Maradona in Naples. Photograph: Fabio Sasso/AP

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp – a man always worth listening to – has said Maradona’s flaws – and his battle with them – were part of what made him great.

“I’m 53 years old, my entire life, he was a part of it,” Klopp said before Liverpool’s Champions League match on Wednesday evening. ““Diego was a sensational guy. Maradona had some struggles. I will miss both.”

Nigeria legend Kanu Nwankwo sends tribute to Maradona saying: “RIP Diego Armando Maradonq, your memory will live forever.”

River Plate, the fierce Buenos Aires rivals of Diego’s team, Boca Juniors, have shown their respect in a touching tweet in which they make it clear although Maradona has gone, his influence on football will live on:

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “Today is an unbelievably sad day. Our Diego left us. Our hearts – of all of us who loved him for how he was, and for what he represented – have stopped beating for a moment. Rest in peace, dear Diego. We love you.”

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Copyright 2020 The Athletic NG. Permission to use this article or any part of it is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.theathletic.com.ng as the source.

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