Argentine footballing legend Diego Maradona has died from a heart attack at the age of 60. Regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time, Maradona captained his country to World Cup glory in 1986.
As is often the case when the footballing world mourns the loss of one of its all-time greats, condolences from stars past and present have poured out on to social media.
Former England striker Gary Lineker paid homage to the great man by posting ‘After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God’, of course referring to Maradona’s infamous goal against England in the quarter-finals of that tournament in ‘86.
Maradona always toed the line between being an iconic hero and a poor role model with reckless abandon, with his life littered with personal issues, including ongoing battles with drug and alcohol addictions.
What illustrates this perfectly is the fact that, just 4 minutes after Maradona scored what, in my mind, is indisputably the most controversial goal in the history of football, he then scored one of the greatest goals of all time. Voted as ‘Goal of the Century’ in 2002, Maradona picked the ball up on the half-turn inside his own half, before proceeding to dribble past not one, not two, but five England players before calmly slotting the ball past Peter Shilton into the back of the net.
Maradona was most famous, at club level, for his spell with Napoli, which wielded two Serie A titles for the Italian side after he joined them for a then world record transfer fee of £6.9 million. While he was unable to transfer his undeniable success as a player to the world of management, tales of what Maradona was able to do with a football will be passed down by fans for generations to come.
Such was his impact on his home nation that Argentinian president Alberto Fernández has declared they will observe three days of national mourning for one of the greatest ever to lace up his boots.
Maradona is survived by his five children and four grandchildren, as well as his long-time partner, Veronica Ojeda.