Diego Maradona. Despite his off-pitch travails, he will mostly be remembered for his footballing exploits which transcended the sport/Photo: Screenshot/FIFATV

Diego Maradona: Football world loses a legend

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona has passed away at the age of 60 after suffering a cardiac arrest, according to multiple reports. He had a heart attack at his home just two weeks after leaving hospital where he underwent brain surgery.

Days after celebrating his 60th birthday, the Gimnasia coach had been hospitalised after complaining of low spirits and fatigue at the start of November.

Tests revealed a blood clot on the brain, which doctors later said was operated on successfully.

Maradona was subsequently discharged from hospital as an outpatient to continue his convalescence, which he carried out in his dwelling in a private neighbourhood near Tigre, northern Buenos Aires.

But on Wednesday morning he suffered cardiac arrest, and paramedics at the scene failed to revive him.

“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… Our pain is the only thing we are feeling deep inside us at this time,” FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, said in a tribute.

“Diego may be eternal now, but for forever, Diego will also have a most prominent place in the incredible story of all football fairy tales. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends at this difficult time. Rest in peace, dear Diego. We love you.”

Statesmen and women, sports greats and other prominent personalities have been paying tributes to the late footballer, who achieved global fame as as one of the best players who ever played the game.

Maradona began his professional career with Argentinos Juniors at the age of 16 and went on to be considered one of the greatest players ever to step onto a football field.

The diminutive left-footed forward went on to represent Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys as a player, and the likes of Racing Club, Dorados, Gimnasia and the Argentina national team later as a coach.

Abeeb Alawiye

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