Iconic footballer Diego Maradona no more

London: Football legend Diego Maradona, who led Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup, died after suffering a cardiac arrest on Wednesday. He was 60.

Maradona began his professional career with Argentinos Juniors at the age of 16 and went on to be considered one of the greatest players ever to step onto a football field.

Maradona was instrumental in taking Argentina to their second World Cup triumph in 1986.

Football legend Diego Maradona has died, aged 60, according to Argentine media reports. He had been discharged from hospital just two weeks ago after undergoing surgery for a blood clot in the brain.

Maradona underwent surgery on November 3 after which his personal doctor Leopoldo Luque said that Maradona was suffering from confusion caused by “abstinence”. He, however, recovered enough to leave the hospital and was taken to a house in Tigre, on the northern outskirts of Buenos Aires.

His lawyer Matias Morla said the 1986 FIFA World Cup winner was feeling well after overcoming “maybe the toughest time of his life”.

Widely rated as the greatest player of all time, Maradona was captain when Argentina won the 1986 World Cup. The tournament featured a number of sublime performances from the legendary forward, the most prominent of which came in a semi-final match against England and has since been dubbed ‘Goal of the Century’. He scored after going on a 60-yard run with the ball from midfield, dribbling past six English players.

Born in a slum area in the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires on October 30, 1960, Maradona made his senior debut for Buenos Aires-based Argentinos Juniors in 1976. He went on to a play for Argentine giants Boca Juniors in the 1981-82 season. He then shifted to Europe where he spent two tumultuous seasons with Spanish giants Barcelona. His tenure with the Catalan club ended with a nasty brawl that triggered crowd trouble in the 1984 Copa del Rey final.

Maradona then went to Italian club Napoli, where he had arguably the most productive period of his career. He won two Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia and one UEFA Cup in his seven seasons with the club, leaving as their all-time highest goalscorer, a record that stood until Marek Hamsik overtook his tally in 2017. He went on to spend a season each at Spanish club Sevilla and Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys before ending his career at Boca Juniors.

As a coach, Maradona notably managed Argentina between 2008 and 2010. He was in charge of Gimnasia y Esgrima in Argentina’s top flight at the time of his death.

(With inputs from IANS)

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