Football legend Diego Maradona. — AFP/Files
Football legend Diego Maradona on Wednesday died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 60, according to his lawyer.
Renowned with Brazil’s Pele as one of the greatest footballers of all time, the Argentine World Cup winning captain died of a heart attack, having undergone brain surgery earlier this month, a member of his entourage told AFP.
Born in 1960 in Lanús, Buenos Aires, Maradona started his professional career for Argentinos Juniors before playing for Boca Juniors and then having a brief stint at Barcelona. He, however, made his name for Italian side Napoli, with whom he won the Serie A titles in 1986–87, 1989–90.
His most memorable moments came with his national side Argentina, for whom he won the 1986 World Cup — a tournament highlighted by his mazy runs and his famous “Hand of God” goal against England in the quarter-final.
The Argentina national team, paying tribute to him, said: “You will #Eterno in every heart of the soccer planet”.
Earlier this month, Maradona had undergone brain surgery to remove a blood clot but was in good health in the immediate aftermath.
His personal physician, Dr Leopoldo Luque, had said that the Argentinian was recovering well as he “laughed and grabbed my hand” a day after the procedure.
“Diego is without any type of neurological deficit, without any type of complication associated with surgery,” Luque had said.
“Diego is fine, he is with analgesia. We are trying to make him recover progressively. They are decisions of the therapy doctors, with whom we are in full agreement. We are working together, along the same lines, and Diego has been responding very well.
“He is in a post-operative period and the moods are difficult to assess. However, when we removed the drain today he laughed, looked at me, grabbed my hand, and the first impression is it is favourable, but it is difficult to evaluate.”
Maradona’s hospitalisation had come after he showed signs of depression.
The football great was “very sad” and “didn’t want to eat”, prompting his doctor to take him to the hospital.