Argentine legend Diego Maradona, widely regarded among the greatest football players of all time, passed away less than a month after undergoing surgery on a clot in his brain.
Known for guiding Argentina to glory in the 1986 World Cup, Maradona reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday, weeks after his 60th birthday, which he celebrated on October 30. Known for his dribbling masterclass and the infamous 'Hand of God', tributes and condolences poured in for the veteran in no time.
The first son after four daughters, Maradona was born in Buenos Aires Province but raised in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires.
In an illustrious career spanning over two decades, Maradona donned the jersey for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys. He represented Argentina in 91 games where he scored 34 goals. He also went on to play for World Cups with Argentina including the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Post his untimely and tragic demise, here are a few memorable moments from Maradona's career:
- Maradona's two goals in the quarter-final against England are still remembered by fans. The first one -- 'Hand of God' -- was an unpenalized handling foul while the second one saw him dribbling past five England players before tapping into an empty net.
- Maradona's second goal is widely regarded as the greatest ever goal scored in a World Cup. The goal was also voted "Goal of the Century" in a 2002 online poll conducted by FIFA
- The ' Hand of God' incident took place on June 22, 1986, at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Maradona went up for a header in the 51st minute of that match but the ball went off his arm and into England's goal.
- Argentina ultimately defeated West Germany 3–2 in the final of the 1986 World Cup as Maradona lifted the trophy as the captain.
- Maradona had hogged the headlines for setting the world record transfer fee twice, first when he went to FC Barcelona for USD 7.6 million, and then to Napoli for USD 10.48 million.
- After spending two seasons at Barcelona, Maradona shifted his base to Napoli where he emerged among the greatest footballers of all time.
- Maradona led Napoli to two Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990. He was also given the nickname 'El Pibe de Oro' (The Golden Boy)
- After retiring in 1997, Maradona went on to the coaching path. He also managed Argentina between 2008-2010. At the time of his death, he was in charge of Gimnasia de La Plata.