Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer great who was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity, has died. He was 60.
The office of Argentina’s president will decree three days of national mourning because of Maradona’s death on Wednesday, and the Argentine soccer association expressed its sorrow on Twitter.
Nos llevaste a lo más alto del mundo. Nos hiciste inmensamente felices. Fuiste el más grande de todos.
Gracias por haber existido, Diego. Te vamos a extrañar toda la vida. pic.twitter.com/pAf38sRlGC
Maradona died two weeks after being released from a Buenos Aires hospital following brain surgery.
Famed for the “Hand of God” goal in which he punched the ball into England’s net during the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals, Maradona captivated fans over a two-decade career with a bewitching style of play that was all his own.
WATCH | Diego Maradona’s famed ‘Hand of God’ goal:
Although his reputation was tarnished by his addictions and an ill-fated spell in charge of the national team, he remained idolized in soccer-mad Argentina as the “Pibe de Oro,” or “Golden Boy.”
The No. 10 he wore on his jersey became synonymous with him, as it also had with Pele, the Brazilian great with whom Maradona was regularly paired as the best of all time.
Like millions of others Maradona was my soccer hero as a kid. I think I always tried to play with just an ounce of his strength, his genius, and his passion. His joy for the game and his memory will always live on. RIP to one of the greatest ever.