The football world is in mourning, Maradona died Wednesday, November 25 following a heart attack. He was at home, in Tigre near Buenos Aires.
The Argentine soccer icon was 60 years old. He was buried late Thursday afternoon in the Jardin de Paz cemetery, in Bellavista, on the outskirts of the capital, where his parents are buried.
A 3-day national mourning
The country had decreed 3 days of national mourning. All his admirers could come to the presidential palace Casa Rosada for a funeral vigil.
Following this sad news, the population formed an impressive procession in the streets of Buenos Aires to go to the Obelisk. Songs and tributes were raised while remembering the exploits of “Pibe de Oro” (golden kid) as the Argentines liked to call him. Most people were dressed in the national No.10 jersey and wore anti-Covid masks (pandemic requires). The government postponed the end of the vigil by 3 hours, as the crowd was large.
Unfortunately, incidents broke out before the coffin left for the cemetery. The authorities had to remove the coffin from the fiery chapel. The police had to confront participants in the square and the neighboring streets.
Many Argentines identified with this boy from a modest family that the football has put in the front row. “Dios” (God) or “D10s” (referring to his jersey number) was a great footballer. He had represented the country around the world. He liked to get involved in great social causes and defend the most vulnerable. The thousands of fans present wanted to accompany their idol to the end. They followed the hearse that carried the coffin covered with the Argentinian flag to the cemetery where it was to be buried in the family vault.
The Italian tribute
The player’s second homeland also paid a fervent tribute to the one who brought the Neapolitan club to the zenith. In the streets of Naples, one could read the emotion on the faces as soon as the sad news was announced. The Neapolitans went to the San Paolo stadium. Hundreds of supporters occupied the gates of the enclosure to pay tribute to the one they had just lost. The Neapolitans came to deposit candles, scarves, photos and drawings in memory of the legendary number 10 at the foot of the Curva B (the club’s ultra bend). The stadium remained lit all evening. Everyone felt they had lost the one who had made Napoli a great club.
Maradona and SSC Napoli
Arrived in Naples, after Barcelona, Maradona was warmly welcomed by 70,000 people. The greatest player in the world arrived in Italy, in Naples.
Thanks to “Dios”, the SSC won the UEFA Cup in 1989 against Stuttgart and its first 2 Italian league titles. In 87 in front of Juve de Platini and in 90 with the scudetto double (the most awarded reward to the Italian champion) and the Super Cup. Thanks to them, the club was able to reach the top.
Unfortunately, his new impresario, Guillermo Copolla, brings him closer to the Neapolitan mafia. He is protected by the Camorra and the Giuliano clan which supplies him with his cocaine.
Places to meditate
For 7 seasons, between 84 and 91, the player lived in the upscale neighborhood of Posillipo, a little out of the way. Other places the star frequented no longer exist such as Soccavo’s “Campo Paradiso”, where Napoli trained. His restaurant, “La Sacrestia” closed a few years ago to make way for a luxury villa. On the other hand, one can find large murals dedicated to him. A large portrait dominates San Giovanni a Teduccio, in the east of the city. In the alleys of the Spanish Quarters, the images of Maradona are everywhere.
The mayor of the city, Luigi De Magistris, would like to rename the Napoli stadium after the name of Maradona. On Thursday evening, he received the Croats from Rijeka behind closed doors for Matchday 4 of the group stage of the Europa League. A quarter of an hour before, the Neapolitans were able to place a candle at their window. After the minute’s silence, former club captain Marek Hamsik called on all residents to dedicate “the biggest applause in the history of the city” to him.
The tribute of India
More surprisingly, India paid a vibrant tribute to the one who had come in 2012. The Cannanore hotel in the south of the country, had hosted the “Dios” there. Room 309 has been transformed into a museum .. (cutlery, toiletries, dried flowers …)
A minute of silence, in memory of Maradona, before the Ligue 1 match between PSG and Bordeaux on Saturday evening. PSG will also broadcast a video on the player who has walked on the lawn of the Parc des Princes 3 times during his career.
Emmanuel Macron: “Undisputed ruler of the round ball”, “sumptuous and unpredictable player”, “spiked dancer”, “artist” who “embodied the magic of the game” .. “The hand of God had placed a football genius on earth . She has just taken it back from us, with an unforeseen dribble that has deceived all our defenses. Did she want, by this gesture, to settle the debate of the century: Is Diego Maradona the greatest football player of all time? The tears of millions of orphans respond to it today with painful evidence “.
Tributes from the world of sport
Bernard Tapie: “He died much too early, sinking into too many drifts.”. “For me he was a real football magician” .. “To be able to do a double rake, a hook, a change of foot, a heel in 1.5 square meters, that is fabulous. There he is. genius. “
Peter Shilton, former goalkeeper for the Argentina-England match, regrets that Maradona never apologized for his “Hand of God”. “” He was without a doubt the greatest player I have ever faced.
Ali Bennaceur, referee during the same match: “He was a genius, a football legend, me as a referee I did not allow myself to close my eyes even for a second while following him, because he was capable of all the actions”.
Zinédine Zidane: “A huge loss for the world in general, and for the world of football” .. “I engraved in my head his World Cup 1986
Kylian Mbappé, PSG striker: “RIP Legend. You will always be in the history of football. Thank you for all the pleasure you have given the whole world”.
Michel Platini: “Diego Maradona will go down in the history of Argentina, Naples and football for eternity”.
Gianni Infanto, FIFA president: “To” the only one “,” immense “player that was Diego Maradona” .. The Argentine legend deserves the “eternal gratitude” of football lovers “.
Lionel Messi: “A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He leaves us but he does not go away, because Diego is eternal. I keep in me all the beautiful moments lived with him.
Pelé: “Sadness after Diego Maradona’s disappearance. I have lost a great friend and the world has lost a legend” .. “One day, I hope we can play ball together in heaven”.
A look back at the player and his career
Born October 30, 1960 in Lanús (province of Buenos Aires, Argentina), Diego Armando and the last of a family of 4 children. He grew up in a modest family in a slum in the underprivileged neighborhood of Villa Fiorito. From childhood, he had only one dream, to become a footballer and win the World Cup.
When he was 10, he went to the detection days of the local Argentinos Juniors club where he was noticed. He joined the Cebollitas (the little onions) team, the club’s junior team.
At 16, he joined the Argentine Eleven and became the youngest professional player in football history. With the Argentinos Juniors, he scored 115 goals in 166 matches.
Not having been selected for the selection of the World Cup 78 because too young, he became captain of the Argentine junior team in 79. Maradona was elected best player of the tournament, and the same year won the Argentinian Golden Ball. .
In 81, “El Pibe de Oro” left the “Argentinos” for the “Boca Juniors” with whom he won the championship and humiliated the rival, “River Plate”.
Maradona in Barcelona
In 1982, Maradona transferred to FC Barcelona for approximately $ 7.3 million. The footballer is paid at least $ 50,000 per season, not including perks, bonuses and merchandise income. His setbacks during the 1982 Football World Cup, organized in Spain, just before the championship season, scratched his popularity (kick on Batista). He was deported and Argentina had to get out. It was around this time that he started using cocaine. In 1983, he won the Kings Cup against Real Madrid. He was voted best player in the league with 38 goals scored in 58 matches. In 1984, Diego Maradona concluded his Barcelona epic.
The Neapolitan period
“D10s” signed with SSC Napoli in July 1984. It was welcomed by 70,000 Neapolitan supporters. His transfer was the most expensive at the time ($ 12 million).
For 7 years, he participated in the rise of the club and achieved consecration by winning 2 titles of champions of Italy. In 86, he participated in the victory of the World Cup in Mexico, against England with the famous “Hand of God”.
Unfortunately, his private life catches up with him between alcohol and cocaine abuse without forgetting the scandals. Suspended during the World Cup in the United States in 1994, he ended his career in 1997.
Appointed coach of the Argentina national team in 2008. Following financial and health problems, he was replaced in 2010 by Sergio Batista after having qualified his country for the World Cup in South Africa.
May 16, 2011: signing for 2 seasons of a coaching contract at the Al Wasl Dubai club. After his dismissal in July 2012, he became a consultant in 2014 for the Venezuelan television channel Tele Sur during the World Cup.
2017: coach of Fujairah Sports Club, a modest club from the United Arab Emirates which plays in the 2nd division. He resigned in April 2018.
Belarus and Mexico
May 16, 2018: engagement as president of the Belarusian club Dinamo Brest (D1) for a period of 3 years.
September 7, 2018: coach of the Dorados de Sinaloa (Mexican D2), while remaining at the head of Dinamo.
Return to Argentina
September 5, 2019: Coach of the Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata (D1). He resigned from his post in November of the same year and reversed his decision two days later.
2005-2006: 2nd season of the Italian show Ballando con le stelle. He gives up after the 3rd week of competition.
World Cup in 2006: Round of 16 Germany v Sweden and for the Spanish television channel Cuatro (ex-Canal + Spain), except on Argentina match days, because he demanded not to work on match days of his national team.
Maradona also hosts a variety show that is breaking audience records on Argentine television.
Drugs and alcohol are responsible for many heart attacks. He had to be detoxified several times between 2000 and 2019. 2004: He was close to death and was treated in Cuba, he lost 40 kgs. March 28, 2007: Hospitalization in Buenos Aires following a new illness resulting from alcohol, bulimia and abuse of cigars. Doctors diagnose hepatitis. He’s recovering.
January 16, 2012: emergency hospitalization for kidney stones.
August 14, 2014: new hospitalization
January 5, 2019: hospitalization after stomach bleeding.
October 30, 2020: hospitalization following anemia and dehydration.
November 2: operation for a hematoma in the brain. He was released from the hospital on November 12.
November 25: death at home.