Football’s ‘Golden Boy,’ Diego Maradona, dies at 60
Reports of his death were confirmed by his longtime lawyer and agent on Nov. 25.
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The sports world is in mourning after learning on Nov. 25 that one of the greatest football players of all time, Diego Maradona, has passed away at 60 years old.
The news was first reported by outlets in his home country of Argentina, but quickly spread worldwide as it was learned the world’s game had lost its “Golden Boy.” Maradona’s longtime lawyer, Matias Morla, eventually confirmed the news of his passing.
Maradona turned 60 on Oct. 30, 2020. Four days later, his personal doctor came out to the press to confirm that the legend had undergone a successful surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain.
He was reported in “excellent” condition on Nov. 5, but it was later discovered that Maradona needed to be sedated to cope with withdrawal symptoms stemming from a long history of drug addiction.
Maradona was discharged from the clinic where the operation took place on Nov. 12.
Two weeks later, he died of a reported heart attack.
On the field, the Argentine legend was called “El Pibe de Oro” (“The Golden Boy”) during his days on the pitch, and is considered the best player of his generation, arguably one of the best to ever play the game.
In 2000, Maradona was a joint winner of the FIFA Player of the Century Awards alongside Pelé.
Both his club and national team careers were marked with accolades and a number of the most iconic moments in football history.
For Argentina, he played in four World Cups. His most memorable performances came during the 1986 World Cup held in Mexico City, as he led the national team to its second World Cup win after beating West Germany in the final 3-2.
In the quarterfinal match against England in Argentina’s run to the final, Maradona produced both the most controversial goal in World Cup history with his “Hand of God” handball header, and the most magical with a 66-yard weave through the English defense to score the winning strike.
Maradona’s club career started with Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors before he made the jump across the Atlantic to European leagues. To get the Argentine, FC Barcelona paid a then world-record fee of 5 million pounds. Napoli then broke Barcelona’s world record fee to bring Maradona to Italy for 6.9 million pounds.
His time at Napoli was the most memorable, as Maradona led the team to its first ever Serie A title in 1987, and then another in 1990. Napoli also won the UEFA Cup with Maradona at the helm in 1989 and the Coppa Italia in 1987.
It was also during his switch to Europe that Maradona became addicted to cocaine — one that would eventually end his career and he would battle until 2004.
Despite the difficult life he led off the pitch, soccer legends and stars from across the world paid homage at the news of his passing.
Reports from Argentina that Diego Armando Maradona has died. 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. #RipDiego— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 25, 2020
DON DIEGO MARADONA...— Neymar Jr Site (@NeymarJrSite) November 25, 2020
Descanse em paz! LENDA do futebol
Rest in peace! LEGEND of football
⠀#Neymar #NeymarJr #Football #Futebol #Argentina #Maradona #DiegoMaradona #RIPMaradona pic.twitter.com/o981Be1Qw9
Mon idole est décédée,— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) November 25, 2020
RIP Diego Armando Maradona, my first ever football shirt, the man behind my love for football
Gracias El Pibe
Eternamente Gracias Diego por todo lo que nos diste!!!— Javier Mascherano (@Mascherano) November 25, 2020
Descansá en paz. Te lo ganaste de sobra pic.twitter.com/mz5sdcALcr