Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona passed away on the morning of Nov. 25 at the age of 60. The former midfielder and manager was reported to have suffered a heart attack in his home in Buenos Aires. Maradona was in the hospital earlier this November, suffering from a blood clot, but had successful surgery following this incident.
Maradona was one of the most iconic players of the 20th century, leading Argentina to its second-ever World Cup title in 1986, where he scored his iconic “Hand of God” goal against England in the quarter-final. He also won the Golden Ball for the tournament. Maradona scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina and played in four World Cups for the national team. Maradona also played for Argentina club giants Boca Juniors, Spanish giants Barcelona, and Italian giants Napoli, helping the lattermost win two Italian Cups.
Other than his “Hand of God” goal, his second iconic goal of all time showed exactly what he was capable of as a player. The goal would come in the same game as the “Hand of God” goal when he took the ball from the middle of the field and dribbled it past four defenders. He took it to the inside of the goalkeeper box, dribbled it past the keeper, and scored in the wide-open goal. Maradona also won Fifa Player of the 20th Century alongside Brazilian legend Pelé — an award appropriately given to both of them. Without these two men, the game of soccer would, most likely, not stand internationally as it does today.
Maradona was not someone without controversy throughout his career. He would also face controversy for his support in many socialist parties, read this for more information. He struggled with a cocaine addiction and was banned by FIFA for 15 months for it in 1991. He would also not complete his final World Cup with Argentina in 1994, as he tested positive for ephedrine.
Even with these incidents, though, he was still one of the most loved players in soccer. His skill with the ball — whether it be dribbling, his vision and passing ability, or his goal-scoring — were what made him loved not just by his country, but soccer fans around the world.
Argentinian President Alberto Fernández shared a message about Maradona via Twitter, which, translated to English, read: “You took us to the highest place in the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all. Thanks for existing, Diego. We are going to miss you for the rest of our lives.” Fernández would also declare three days of national mourning for the soccer legend.
Maradona will forever be remembered for his skill on the field and for the memories he gave people whether it be good or bad especially if you are an England fan. He will forever be in the debate for the greatest player to ever play.
Featured Image: Courtesy of goal.com