OPEN APP
Home >Sports >Football News >Football legend Maradona passes away at 60 due to cardiac arrest
Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona (Action Images via Reuters)
Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona (Action Images via Reuters)

Football legend Maradona passes away at 60 due to cardiac arrest

  • The 1986 World Cup champion earlier had an emergency operation for a subdural hematoma, which us an accumulation of blood between a membrane and his brain
  • Retired Brazilian soccer star Pele said it is sad to 'lose friends this way'

Football legend Diego Maradona passed away on Wednesday due to a heart attack, according to media reports.

The 60-year-old had earlier had an emergency operation for a subdural hematoma, which us an accumulation of blood between a membrane and his brain.

"We are in mourning," said club spokesman Nicola Lombardo. "We feel like a boxer who has been knocked out. We are in shock."

Maradona, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, helped Argentina win the World Cup in 1986, the pinnacle of an illustrious career.

He played club football for Boca Juniors, Napoli and Barcelona among others and was adored by millions for his brilliant skills.

Maradona was responsible for the infamous 'Hand of God' that eliminated England from the 1986 tournament.

Replays showed that Maradona fisted, rather than headed, the ball into the net, a foul the referee missed. The Argentine No. 10 dedicated the goal to the “hand of God.

In this June 29, 1986 file photo, Diego Maradona holds up his team's trophy after Argentina's 3-2 victory over West Germany at the World Cup final soccer match at Atzeca Stadium in Mexico City.
View Full Image
In this June 29, 1986 file photo, Diego Maradona holds up his team's trophy after Argentina's 3-2 victory over West Germany at the World Cup final soccer match at Atzeca Stadium in Mexico City. (AP)

Retired Brazilian soccer star Pele said it is sad to "lose friends this way."

Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford shared a photo of Maradona with a heart-breaking emoji.

English former professional footballer and current sports broadcaster Gary Lineker expressed, "After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God."

The Argentina's "golden boy's" scoring prowess and flair in slaloming past opponents vaulted him into the hall of soccer fame, but he struggled to cope with the adulation and his battles with addiction became regular global news.

“The best of the lot, no question," Brazil’s Zico, a titan of the sport in his own right, said in 2005. “I saw Maradona do things that God himself would doubt were possible."

After retiring Maradona developed heart problems caused by cocaine addiction, and he endured wild weight and fitness swings that seemed to reflect his do-or-die attitudes to both soccer and life.

“I am black or white," Maradona said in 2009. “I’ll never be gray."

Maradona is best remembered for the two goals that dumped England out of the 1986 World Cup. The quarterfinal in Mexico City was eagerly anticipated, coming just four years after the Falklands War between the U.K. and Argentina. Maradona made sure it was a game few would forget.

Goal of the Century

While that goal has become one of the most infamous in soccer history, Maradona’s second in the game was voted the best of the 20th century in a 2002 vote held by FIFA, the sport’s ruling body.

After collecting a pass inside his own half, Maradona dribbled at full speed past four England players, shimmied around Shilton and rolled the ball into the net from a tight angle just as defender Terry Fenwick slid in to tackle him.

Maradona’s lifelong tendency to interweave brilliance with controversy was encapsulated by the goals, scored just five minutes apart.

The emotion with which local announcer Victor Hugo Morales called the second goal is etched into national memory. “What planet did you come from?" he shouted. Then, as he ran out of breath: “Thank you God, for soccer, for Maradona."

Diego Armando Maradona shows Argentine football legend Diego Maradona (R) shaking hands with his doctor Leopoldo Luque in Olivos, Buenos Aires province, Argentina
View Full Image
Diego Armando Maradona shows Argentine football legend Diego Maradona (R) shaking hands with his doctor Leopoldo Luque in Olivos, Buenos Aires province, Argentina (AFP)


Argentina won 2-1 and Maradona, its captain, went on to lift the World Cup after a 3-2 victory over West Germany in the final.

Four years later, Maradona guided the national team to another final against the Germans, but this time they lost 1-0. The 1986 title is the last time soccer-mad Argentina celebrated being world champions despite continuing as a breeding ground for virtuoso offensive players, including Lionel Messi. The nostalgia grew Maradona’s legend.

Buenos Aires

Born October 30, 1960, Diego Armando Maradona’s preternatural talent was noticed when he was just eight on the hardpan fields of Villa Fiorito, a Buenos Aires slum. Sepia video footage of Maradona as a boy juggling a soccer ball attest to the ease with which he took up the sport, and he nurtured his genius by playing with friends into the night.

Trainer Francisco Cornejo was first to spot Maradona’s potential, signing him for Argentinos Juniors’s youth team, which he led to a 136-game unbeaten run.

Maradona made his debut in the country’s top tier in 1976, 10 days before turning 16, and was the league’s leading scorer for three consecutive seasons from 1978. But because he was so young, Cesar Luis Menotti, the Argentine coach at the time, left Maradona off the 1978 World Cup roster. In 1981 he moved to giants Boca Juniors, helping them to win the league championship.

With agency inputs

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news.

Close