By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
The football world is currently engulfed in grief after the sad news of the passing of football legend, Argentina star Diego Maradona.
Diego Maradona breathed his last on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, aged 60, due to a cardiac arrest he suffered at home in Tigre, Argentina. Maradona had been recuperating from the removal of a blood clot on the brain.
Undoubtedly one of the greatest football players of all time, Diego Armando Maradona was born on October 30, 1960, at the Policlínico Evita Hospital in Lanús, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina.
During his playing time, the immensely talented Maradona played for Argentinian side Boca Juniors, Spanish giants Barcelona, and Napoli in Italy where he won two Serie A titles.
Internationally, he scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina, representing them in four World Cups (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994). However, he failed drug tests in the 1994 World Cup in USA and was sent home.
The Argentine Football Association has expressed its deepest sorrow on its official social media pages for the death of the legendary player, saying, “You will always be in our hearts.”
The president of Argentina Alberto Fernandez has declared three days of national mourning and he said that, “You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of them all. Thank you for having existed, Diego. We’re going to miss you all our lives.”
Maradona led his country to the 1986 World Cup final where they beat West Germany but it was the goal that he scored with the help of his hand in the quarter-final against England that was the highlight of the tournament. The goal has gone on to be named the “Hand of God.”
During the second half of his career, Maradona struggled with cocaine addiction and was banned for 15 months after testing positive for the drug in 1991.
He retired from professional football in 1997, on his 37th birthday, during his second stint at Argentine giants Boca Juniors.
Having briefly managed two sides in Argentina during his playing career, Maradona was appointed head coach of the national team in 2008 and left after the 2010 World Cup, where his side were beaten by Germany in the quarter-finals.
He subsequently managed teams in the United Arab Emirates and Mexico and was in charge of Gimnasia y Esgrima in Argentina’s top flight at the time of his death.
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