Diego Maradona, one of the greatest footballers of all time has died at the age of 60 after suffering a cardiac arrest.
The football legend had a heart attack at his home on Wednesday.
The Argentine news outlet Clarin was face to break the news describing the news of Maradona’s passing as having a ‘worldwide impact’.
The sad news was confirmed by Maradona’s lawyer. Soon, tributes were pouring in from all over the world of football.
In a statement on social media, the Argentine Football Association expressed “its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend”, adding: “You will always be in our hearts.”
Argentina president Alberto Fernandez who declared three days of national mourning said: “You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of them all.
“Thank you for having existed, Diego. We’re going to miss you all our lives.”
Maradona had successful surgery on a brain blood clot earlier in November before being treated for alcohol dependency.
On Tuesday morning, Argentinian press reported that Maradona had suffered heart failure while he continued to recover from the surgery.
Maradona, already one of the best players in the world, became a global icon and national hero after captaining Argentina to win the 1986 World Cup, producing a series of sublime individual performances in the tournament.
His goal against England in the quarterfinal, a run from midfield that saw him beat five players before scoring is often acclaimed as the greatest World Cup goal of all time and was dubbed Goal of the 20th Century.
He’d already courted controversy in the match when he scored with his hand to put Argentina ahead.
Maradona went up for a header in the 51st minute of that match, as the ball went off his arm and into England’s goal.
But in an era long before the video assistant referee (VAR), officials on the field missed the clear violation and the goal stood.
“A little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God,” Maradona famously said of that goal.
He played for Barcelona and Napoli during his club career, winning two Serie A titles with the Italian side.
He scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina, representing them in four World Cups.
Maradona captained his country to the 1990 World Cup in Italy, but their quest to defend the title was ended by West Germany in the final.
His last World Cup was in the United States in 1994 where he was instrumental as Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 in the group stage, his quickly taken free kick converted by Claudio Caniggia for the winner. His tournament ended in disgrace, however, after he was sent home for failing a drugs test for ephedrine.
During the second half of his career, Maradona struggled with cocaine addiction and was banned for 15 months after testing positive for the drug in 1991.
He retired from professional football in 1997, on his 37th birthday, during his second stint at Argentine giants Boca Juniors.
Having briefly managed two sides in Argentina during his playing career, Maradona was appointed head coach of the national team in 2008 and left after the 2010 World Cup, where his side were beaten by Germany in the quarter-finals.
He subsequently managed teams in the United Arab Emirates and Mexico and was in charge of Gimnasia y Esgrima in Argentina’s top flight at the time of his death.
Tributes from the football and sporting world have started pouring in with Brazil legend Pele who along with Maradona is often thought of as the greatest player of all time, issuing a brief statement which read: “One day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above.”
Gary Lineker, the England star who won the Golden Boot in that 1986 World Cup, on Wednesday heaped praise on Maradona on Twitter.
“By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time,” Lineker said of his old rival. “After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God.”