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Tributes pour in as legendary football icon Diego Maradona dies at age 60

Tributes pour in as legendary football icon Diego Maradona dies at age 60

Tributes are flooding in following the death of Argentina legend and one of the greatest footballers of all time, Diego Maradona.

Reports that the former Barcelona, Napoli and Boca Juniors star – who won the World Cup in 1986 with Argentina – had passed away aged 60 were confirmed by his attorney on Wednesday, and the world of football was quick to reaction.

Maradona’s close friend and international teammate, former Tottenham midfielder Ossie Ardiles, said: “Thank [you] dear Dieguito for your friendship, for your football, sublime, without comparison. Simply, the best football player in the history of football. So many enjoyable moments together. Impossible to say which one was the best. RIP my dear friend.”

Former England striker Gary Lineker, part of the Three Lions squad sent home from the 1986 World Cup thanks to Maradona’s infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal, said: “By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God.”

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The Twitter account for the Argentina team posted a picture of Maradona captioned:

“Goodbye, Diego. You will be Eternal in every heart of the soccer planet.”

The former Argentina attacking midfielder and manager suffered a heart attack at his Buenos Aires home.

He had successful surgery on a brain blood clot earlier in November and was to be treated for alcohol dependency.

Maradona was captain when Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, scoring the famous ‘ Hand of God’ goal against England in the quarter-finals.

In a statement on social media, the Argentine Football Association expressed “its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend”, adding: “You will always be in our hearts.”

Maradona played for Barcelona and Napoli during his club career, winning two Serie A titles with the Italian side.

He scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina, representing them in four World Cups.

Maradona led his country to the 1990 final in Italy, where they were beaten by West Germany, before captaining them again in the United States in 1994, but was sent home after failing a drugs test for ephedrine.

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 quarterfinals.

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.

Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford posted a photo of 91-cap international, captioned “Legendary” with the image of a broken heart.