Soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona has reportedly died at 60, news outlets in his native Argentina reported. Maradona reportedly died of a heart attack just two weeks after being released from hospital after treatment for a bleed on his brain.
The controversial soccer figure was born into poverty in the shantytowns outside Buenos Aires. When he was 8 years old, a scout from the local team Estrella Roja signed him and by the time he was 15, he played for the major club Argentinos Juniors.
Maradona later signed with major Argentine club Boca Juniors before going to Europe, where he played for Barcelona in Spain’s La Liga. After two unsuccessful seasons at Barcelona, he transferred to Napoli in Italy’s Serie A, where he helped the Southern Italian club win two titles.
It is at Napoli where his name would be synonymous with modern soccer due to his speed, skill and cunning goal-scoring abilities. The city has commemorated his larger than life figure with a massive mural in the center of the town.
During the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, he helped Argentina win their second trophy.
In 1990, he brought his country back to the World Cup finals but they lost to West Germany.
Maradona became a controversial figure in 1992 when he faced a 15-month ban from soccer after testing positive for cocaine use.
By the 1994 World Cup, Maradona fought to return to the Argentina national team but later he failed a drug test and was kicked out of the tournament.
He retired from soccer in 1997 and returned to his favorite team, Boca Juniors.
In 2010, Maradona coached the Argentina national soccer team in South Africa.
Since the news of Maradona’s death broke around the globe, many stars of the sport both past and present have paid their respects to the icon.
Leo Messi, who many have compared to Maradona and see him as the heir to Argentina’s soccer throne, took to social media to write “A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal.”
Brazilian football icon Pele said in a statement “Certainly one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above.”
Portugese star Cristiano Ronaldo took to Instagram to say, “He leaves too soon, but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten."
Former Roma captain and Italian World Cup winner Fransceco Totti wrote, “You wrote the history of football. Bye Diego.”
Former Brazil icon Kaka shared to his followers that tomorrow is never promised, writing, “26 days ago I posted a tribute celebrating Maradona's 60th birthday. We'll never know tomorrow, but today, we say goodbye to a football genius. RIP - Diego Maradona.”
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford shared an image of Maradona on Twitter, calling him a legend.
Napoli president Aurellio de Laurentiis, the uncle of cook Giada, said he is considering renaming the city’s Stadio San Paolo, where Maradona won 2 Italian Serie A championships with the club, after their beloved No. 10.
The team also posted an image of Maradona, saying he is “always in our hearts.”
The UEFA Champions League will observe a moment of silence Wednesday before every match played in honor of Maradona.
FC Barcelona where he played for two years expressed their condolences on Twitter in a thread accompanied by a highlight reel.
Maradona’s beloved Boca Juniors have posted a series of 9 tiles on their Instagram feed to showcase their former star as well as an additional image saying they are eternally grateful for his playing during his time at La Bombonera Stadium.