Argentine football great Diego Maradona dies at 60


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Argentina’s legendary footballer Diego Maradona, who scored the “Hand of God” goal in 1986 and led his country to the year’s World Cup title, which was later ruled out by cocaine use and obesity Died of battling. He was in his 60s.

Maradona spokesman Sebastian Sanchi said he died of a heart attack on Wednesday, two weeks after being released from a hospital in Buenos Aires following brain surgery.

The Argentine president’s office said it would decide a three-day national mourning, and the Argentine Football Association expressed sorrow on Twitter.

One of the most famous moments in the history of the game, the “Hand of God” goal, came when Mandakini Maradona put the ball into England’s net during the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals. England said the ball missed Maradona’s hand, not from his head. Maradona gave himself conflicting articles about what had happened in a year, with God in his hand, holding the target responsible for divine intervention.

Before his 60th birthday in October, Maradona told France Football magazine that it was his dream “this time with the right hand, scoring another goal against the English”.

In his two-decade career, Maradona wooed fans around the world with an appealing style of play.

Although his reputation was clouded by his addictions and a malicious mantra of the national team, he remained idolized in football-mad Argentina as “Peeb de Oro” or “Golden Boy”.

Argentine President Alfredo Fernandez said, “You took us to the top of the world.” “You made us incredibly happy. You were the eldest. “

The number 10 became synonymous with what he wore on his jersey, as did the Brazilian great Pelé, with whom Maradona was regularly given the best time.

Brazil said in a statement that it had lost “a dear friend”.

Pelé said, “There is much more to say, but now God can give strength to his family.” “One day, I hope, we will play football together in the sky.”

Bold, sharp and completely unpredictable, Maradona was the master of attack, bouncing the ball easily from one foot to the other as he raced upward. Dodge and weave with his low center of gravity, he overtook countless rivals and often scored with the devastating left leg, his most powerful weapon.

“Everything he was thinking in his head, he did that with his feet,” said Salvatore Bagney, who played with Maradona at the Italian club Napoli.

A ballooning waistline slowed Maradona’s explosive pace later in his career and was scarred in his first doping scandal until 1991, when he admitted to the cocaine habit, which he retired until he was 37 years old in 1997. killed him.

He was charged with cocaine for heart problems in the hospital near death in 2000 and again in ’04, he later said he overcame the drug problem. Cocaine, he once famously said, proved to be his “toughest opponent”.

But despite the 2005 gastric bypass, he suffered more health problems that significantly reduced his weight. Maradona was hospitalized for acute hepatitis in early 2007 after his doctor accused him of excessive drinking and eating.

He was unlikely to return to the national team when he was appointed coach of the Argentina team in 2008, but after being eliminated from the quarter-finals at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he was ruled out – eventually to United Arab Emirates club Al Another coaching job with Wasl.

Maradona was the fifth of eight children to grow up in a poor, gritty bario on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, where he played a kind of dirt-patch football that launched many Argentinians to international stardom.

None of them reached close to Maradona’s fame. In 2001, FIFA named Maradona one of the two greatest in the history of the game along with Pera.

“Maradona inspired us,” said then-Argentine striker Carlos Tavage, explaining everyone in his country’s fascination with Maradona at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. “He is our idol, and an idol for the people.”

Maradona won titles at home and abroad in the early 1980s for the Argentine Juniors and Boca Juniors before moving to Spanish and Italian clubs. He was crowned in the 1986 World Cup, winning his 3–2 win over West Germany in the final and a 2–1 win against England in the quarterfinal match.

After opposition from England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, the referee scored a goal by Maradona, in which he conceded years later, he deliberately hit the ball with his hand with “a little mischief”.

But Maradona’s influence will not be limited to cheating. Four minutes later, he brilliantly rearranged four midfield opponents to beat Shilton, for which FIFA later declared the biggest goal in World Cup history.

Many Argentines saw the 1982 war on the Falkland Islands as a revenge for the loss of their country from Britain, which Argentina still claims as “Las Malvinas”.

“It was our way of fixing Las Malvinas,” Maradona wrote in his 2000 autobiography “I’m Diego.”

“It was more than trying to win a game. We said that the game had nothing to do with war. But we knew that Argentina had died there, that they had killed them like birds. And this was our revenge. It was something bigger than us: we were defending our flag. “

It was also an inspiration for Maradona, who she later called the “biggest tragedy” of her career, having been cut from the 1978 World Cup squad – which Argentina had won at home – since she was only 17 years old.

Maradona said he was given a soccer ball soon after the run.

“I was 3 years old and I slept all night hugging that ball,” he said.

At the age of 10, Maradona rose to fame by performing the order of professional matches, keeping the ball in the air with his feet, chest and head submerging the crowd. He made his game debut with Argentina’s Juniors youth team, leading a team of mostly 14-year-olds through 136 unbeaten matches.

“Seeing him play was pure bliss, true stardom,” said teammate Carlos Beltran.

Maradona played for first division club Argentina’s Juniors from 1976–81, then went to Boca Juniors for a year before moving to Barcelona for a world record $ 8 million.

In 1984, Barcelona sold him to Napoli in Italy. He remembered his fate almost single-handedly, taking it to the 1987 Italian League Championship for his first title in 60 years.

A year after losing to West Germany in the 1990 World Cup final, Maradona moved to Spanish club Sevilla, but his career was on the decline. He played five matches at the Old Boys of Argentina club Nevel in 1994 – his last club and closest to his heart, before returning to Boca in 1995–97.

Drug problems lengthened his final playing years.

Maradona failed a doping test in 1991 and was banned for 15 months after admitting to a prolonged cocaine addiction. He failed another doping test for the stimulant and was ruled out of the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

In retirement, Maradona viewed Boca matches as a raucous man-man enthusiast section and participated in charity, sports and exhibition events around the world. But already the sticky forward quickly gained weight and was clearly short of breath as he huffed through friendly matches.

In 2000, after doctors said he had a brush with death, he was hospitalized with a heart at the Uruguayan resort of Punta del Este, with doctors saying it had less than half its capacity. Blood and urine samples replaced traces of cocaine.

After another emergency hospitalization in 2004, Maradona was counseled for drug abuse and traveled to Cuba for treatment at the Center for Mental Health in Havana in September of the same year. There he went to meet his friend Cuban President Fidel Castro.

In Cuba, Maradona went to play golf and drink cigars. He often praised Castro and the Argentine-born revolutionary “Che” Guevara, who fought alongside Castro in the Cuban revolution – even sporting a tattoo of Guevara on his right arm.

Maradona said he was cleared of drugs there and started a new chapter.

In 2005, he worked on a gastric bypass in Colombia, shedding nearly 50 kilograms (over 100 pounds) before appearing as the host of a wildly popular Argentine TV talk show. On “Night of 10”, Maradona leads a ball with Pelé, interviews boxer Mike Tyson and Hollywood celebrities, and has a lengthy conversation with Castro in Cuba.

In retirement, Maradona also became more vocal. He frequently snoozed at former coaches, players – including Pelé – and Pope. In 2005, he joined a left-wing protest train outside the US summit with the presence of then President George W. Bush, standing alongside Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

His external position made it more surprising when he was selected as the coach of Argentina following the resignation of Alfio Basil.

They won their first three matches but were questioned after their strategy, selection and attention to detail equaled the worst margin of defeat to Argentina in a 6–1 defeat in qualifying at the World Cup.

Argentina’s most popular football broadcaster Victor Hugo Morales said that Maradona would ultimately be remembered for an exciting style that was never copied.

“He has been one of the greatest artists of my time. Like the great masters of music and painting, he defined our intelligence and enriched the human spirit. “Nobody has thrilled me more and left me in awe like Diego.”

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