Diego Maradona, one of the most celebrated football legends of all time, died yesterday at the age of 60.
Maradona was one of the football’s most gifted players who had a rare combination of flair, flamboyance, vision and speed which always mesmerized fans.
The ex-Argentina attacking midfielder and manager had a cardiac arrest at his home. He had successful surgery on a brain blood clot earlier in November and was to be treated for alcohol dependency.
Born 60 years ago in a Buenos Aires shantytown, Maradona escaped the poverty to become a football superstar.
He scored 259 goals in 491 matches, beat his South American rival in a poll to determine the greatest player of the 20th Century before FIFA changed the voting rules.
He was the captain when Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, producing a series of sublime individual performances.
He also outraged supporters with his controversial ‘Hand of God’ goal and plunged into a mire of drug abuse and personal crises off the pitch.
He played for Barcelona and Napoli during his club career, winning two Serie A titles with the Italian side.
Maradona showed phenomenal ability from a young age, leading Los Cebollitas youth team to a 136-game unbeaten streak and going on to make his international debut aged just 16 years and 120 days.
Short and sturdy, at just 5ft 5in, he was not any other athlete. His silky skills, agility, vision, ball control, dribbling and passing more than compensated for lack of pace and occasional weight problems.
He may have been whizz at running rings round hostile defenders but he found it harder to dodge trouble.
By Obed Kipyego