The news of Diego Maradona’s death shocked the football world, with both current and former players as well as the game’s various organizational bodies leading the way in paying tribute to one of the best soccer players of all time.
The 60-year-old Argentine and World Cup winner reportedly died after suffering a heart attack at his Tigre residence on Wednesday. Maradona’s passing followed a successful surgery he had earlier in November to remove a blood clot on his brain, according to BBC.
Following the news of his death, thousands filled the streets of the nation’s capital of Buenos Aires to mourn and celebrate the legacy of a man who inspired a generation of footballers both at home and outside. The South American country’s president, Alberto Fernandez, also declared three days of national mourning.
“You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all,” Fernandez said in a tweet. “Thanks for having existed, Diego. We will miss you for life.”
Affectionately known as “El Pibe de Oro (The golden boy)”, Maradona had stints at clubs including Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli, leading the Italian team to win their first-ever league title in 1987. He is also famously remembered for the “Hand of God” incident where he scored a goal with his hand in a match against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals. Also in that game, he scored one of the best and most iconic individual goals in football history.
Though his career was marred with controversies, Maradona is nonetheless regarded as one of the greatest of all time. Joining the long list of people who paid tribute to the legend were some of Africa’s former and current soccer stars. Take a look at what they had to say below: