Tributes have been coming in from around the world for football legend Diego Maradona, who died today aged 69 in Argentina.
Maradona is widely celebrated as one of football’s greatest-ever players. Some insist that he is the best ever.
The 1986 World Cup winner had surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain earlier this month and died Wednesday of a heart attack.
The Argentine Football Association expressed “its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts,” the Association said in a statement.
Another of football’s greats, Brazilian Pele, said he had lost a friend. “Certainly, one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above.”
In Argentina, he has long been worshipped as ‘El Dios’ – The God. At Buenos Aires metro stations, digital billboards replaced messages about trains with the words: “Gracias Diego”.
In the Buenos Aires suburb of Villa Crespo, the song “La Mano de Dios” (“Hand of God”) by folk singer Rodrigo Bueno rang out from a balcony, a reference to a goal Maradona scored with his hand against England in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
The quarter-final match is also remembered for Maradona’s goal when he ran through and beat six members of the England team to score. That dumped England from the competition that Argentina went on to win.