Death Of A Soccer Legend: Diego Maradoña


Picture creds: Britannica

Bianka Balcazar

On November 25th, 2020, Diego Maradoña, a titan in the soccer community, died of a heart attack in Tigre, Argentina. He was 60 years old.

Maradoña successfully had surgery for a subdural hematoma, more commonly known as a blood clot in the brain, but succumbed to a heart attack while in recovery. Maradoña had a history of health issues, including struggles with substance abuse and weight fluctuations, and had endured mental breakdowns, emergency surgeries, and even a stomach-stapling operation. In spite of his complicated past, Maradoña was idolized by many.

He grew up in a shantytown on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Maradoña became a professional soccer player with Boca Juniors, and his fame grew when he led Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup. He went on to play for leading European clubs such as Barcelona and Napoli. When Maradoña joined Napoli, one newsreader commented, according to Matias Grez and Ben Morse of CNN, that “The poorest city in Italy [had bought] the most expensive player in the world.”

It was during this time that Maradoña came into contact with Camorra, the Napolitan mafia, which is where his struggles with addiction began. A failed drug test in 1991 led to a 15-month ban from the game.

The international soccer community mourns Maradoña’s death. Lionel Messi wrote on his Instagram: “He leaves us but he doesn’t go anywhere because Diego is eternal…I keep all the beautiful moments lived with him and I wanted to send my condolences and best wishes to all of his friends and family.” Brazilian soccer legend Pelé tweeted “I have lost a great friend and the world lost a legend…There is still much to be said but for now, may God give strength to his family members..One day, I hope, we will play football together in heaven.” Cristiano Ronaldo also tweeted his condolences, calling Maradoña “One of the best ever,” and “An unparalleled magician,” adding “He leaves too soon but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled.”

Ronaldo spoke for many all over the world when he concluded: “Rest in peace, ace…You will never be forgotten.”