Argentine legend Diego Maradona died at the age of 60 after a heart attack. Matias Morla, the old agent of Maradona, confirmed the news to EFE on Wednesday.
The statement of the Argentine Football Association read: “Through the president of the Argentine Football Association, Claudio Tapia, he expresses his deep pain over the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. He will always remain in our hearts.”
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez also confirmed three days of national mourning in the wake of the news. Fernandez posted a photo on Twitter embracing Maradona, saying, “He took us to the highest place in the world. You made us extremely happy. You were the greatest of all. Thank you for your existence, Diego. We’ll miss you all our lives.”
Pele, a retired Brazilian football star, mourned the death of Maradona in a brief statement given to Reuters by a MP.
“Of course one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above,” he said.
Maradona recently struggled with health problems and underwent emergency surgery a few weeks ago due to a subdural hematoma. He had a heart attack on Wednesday at his home on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentine media and former player acquaintances reported.
Born in 1960, Maradona was captain of Argentina in the glory of the 1986 World Cup as well as the 1990 final. At the height of his club career, in 1984–1991, he helped the club win the only two Italian league titles in Naples. They were also remarkable lows when they were fired from the 1994 World Cup after being found guilty of doping.
Napoli on Wednesday said the death was a “devastating blow” to both the city and the club. “We’re mourning,” said Nicola Lombardo, the club’s spokesman. “We feel like a boxer who was knocked out. We’re in shock.”
Ever since he finished his playing career in 1997, the stars of ex-Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors have struggled with a number of health issues. He was hospitalized in January 2019 with internal bleeding in the stomach. He was also ill at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he was filmed in the Argentina-Nigeria match in the executive box.
In 2004, he was hospitalized with severe heart and respiratory problems due to a long struggle with drug addiction. She underwent two stomach bypass surgeries to control her weight and received treatment for alcohol abuse.
Maradona was survived by his long-term partner, Veronica Ojeda, two daughters, two sons, four grandchildren and his ex-wife, Claudia Villafane.
Information from Reuters and the Associated Press was used in this report.