Footballer Diego Maradona dies at the age of 60

President Michael D Higgins is leading Irish tributes to Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona, w...

16.44 25 Nov 2020

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Footballer Diego Maradona dies...

Footballer Diego Maradona dies at the age of 60


16.44 25 Nov 2020

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President Michael D Higgins is leading Irish tributes to Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona, who has died at the age of 60.

Maradona, who captained Argentina's 1986 World Cup-winning team, is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time - if not the greatest.

There will be three days of national mourning in Argentina, President Alberto Fernandez has said, adding that Maradona "made us immensely happy".


A minute's silence will be held in Maradona's memory at all the Champions League matches on Wednesday evening.

As well as the triumph in 1986, Maradona also led Argentina to the final of the Italia 90 World Cup and managed them in South Africa in 2010.

His international career ended after he failed a drugs test at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

He was also been banned from football in 1991 after testing positive for cocaine while playing for Napoli, where he won two Serie A titles.

His 'Hand of God' goal against England in the 1986 quarter-finals - when he pushed the ball into the net with his hand - was followed by a remarkable solo effort described as the goal of the century.

Paying tribute, President Higgins said: "It is with sadness that I and supporters of football everywhere will have learned of the death of Diego Maradona, arguably and widely regarded as the world’s greatest football player of all time.

"Football fans around the world will remember Maradona not only for his phenomenal talent for ball control, passing and dribbling, but for the vision of him on the field and the joy he brought to so many.

"He was an inspiration for many a young child playing football.

"His winning of the accolade ‘FIFA Player of the Century’ in 1999 - an award he shared with Pelé - is testimony to the high regard he was, and will continue to be, held in by football fans for many years to come.

"While he will be sadly missed by his family and friends at Boca Juniors, his loss will also be felt by millions of soccer fans in Argentina and across the world."

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was "very saddened" to hear of his passing, saying his genius "lit up the world on countless occasions".

The star, who underwent surgery for a subdural haematoma a few weeks ago, died of a heart attack, his lawyer said.

It happened at his home on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, according to Argentinian media.

A subdural haematoma is a serious condition where a blood clot develops between the skull and the surface of the brain. It is usually caused by a head injury.

The player's doctor, Leopoldo Luque, said he had shown signs of improvement since the operation.

Maradona was also recently admitted to hospital because he was "not well psychologically".

He had been "very sad for a week" and "didn't want to eat", according to one of his representatives.

Player tributes

Brazil's Pele said: "I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky."

Cristiano Ronaldo said Maradona was an "eternal genius" and an "unmatched magician".

Former England striker Gary Lineker said Maradona was "by some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time".

He added: "After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he'll finally find some comfort in the hands of God."

Napoli said Maradona's death was a "devastating blow" for both the city and the club.

He played for Barcelona, Sevilla, Boca Juniors and Newell's Old Boys and was most recently manager of Gimnasia y Esgrima in La Plata, Argentina.

He also coached in the Middle East and Mexico, as well as in his home country.

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Argentina Diego Maradona Dr Leopoldo Luque Footballer Michael D Higgins

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