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Diego Maradona in action for Napoli.
Diego Maradona in action for Napoli.
Image: EMPICS Sport

'Thank you for everything' - football figures around the world pay tribute to Maradona

The football icon has passed away at the age of 60.
Nov 25th 2020, 5:46 PM 30,586 22

THE FOOTBALL WORLD is in mourning following the death of Argentina legend Diego Maradona.

The 1986 World Cup winner has passed away at the age of 60. His spokesman has said that the former Barcelona and Napoli player died of a heart attack, having undergone brain surgery for a blood clot in Buenos Aires earlier this month.

Maradona is best remembered for his heroics at the ’86 World Cup and his iconic two-goal performance in the quarter-final against England as he guided Argentina to glory in the final.

During his time at Napoli, he inspired an unfancied and disparaged club from the south of Italy to two Serie A titles, the Uefa Cup, and the Italian Cup.

Maradona also lined out for Boca Juniors of Argentina during in his playing career.

He was one of the true icons of football, with respected figures around the world paying tribute to his ever-lasting genius.

Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D. Higgins paid tribute to “arguably the greatest player of all time.” 

“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.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin also paid tribute. 

“Very saddened to hear of the passing of Diego Maradona, whose genius on the football field lit up the world on countless occasions. We mourn the loss of a player of the century who scored the goal of the century in Mexico in 1986. May he Rest In Peace.”

 

Speaking on RTE Radio’s Drivetime, Liam Brady, who faced Maradona and Napoli when we played his football in Italy, hailed the late Argentine as the greatest player of his generation. 

“He was the greatest player of my generation, at least.

“He came to Napoli and it was the city that was made for him. They idolised him there, and he brought Napoli more success than they ever had. For a city like Naples, they went absolutely crazy. He didn’t do it single-handedly but without him they wouldn’t have won those trophies.”

Other figures from across the world paid tribute, including Pele, the man with whom Maradona shared an award from Fifa as the greatest player of the 20th century. 

Pele

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