Football legend and Argentina hero Diego Maradona died of a heart attack on Wednesday, aged 60. Maradona’s attorney confirmed the passing away of the football icon, saying he suffered the attack at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires.
Diego Maradona had been suffering from health issues in the recent past. Maradona underwent successful surgery for possible bleeding on his brain as recently as November after being admitted to a local hospital in Buenos Aires with signs of depression.
The UEFA will honour Diego Maradona by a minute of silence before Wednesday’s Champions League matches. Argentine President Alberto Fernandez declared three days of national mourning.
“Argentina’s football association, through its president Claudio Tapia, shared its deepest pain over the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts,” the Argentina football association said in a statement.
Genius on the field struggled with health issues off it
Maradona’s rags-to-riches story served as an inspiration for quite a few as he went on to become one of the greatest footballers of all time. The Argentina hero led the national side to World Cup glory in 1986, showcasing that he was a generational talent.
Maradona was the fifth of 8 children who grew up in a poor, gritty barrio on the Buenos Aires outskirts where he played a kind of dirt-patch football that launched many Argentines to international stardom. In 2001, FIFA named Maradona one of the two greatest in the sport’s history, alongside Pele.
He was a gifted football player who terrorized opposition defense but off the field, Maradona battled drug addiction. 8 years after the World Cup glory with Argentina, Maradona was kicked out of the 1994 World Cup due to drug use.
Years of drug use, overeating and alcoholism truncated a stellar career and altered his appearance from a lithe athlete who could slalom effortlessly through teams to a bloated addict who nearly died of cocaine-induced heart failure in 2000.