Argentina soccer legend Diego Maradona died Wednesday after battling health issues the past few weeks. He was 60.
Among his four World Cup appearances, he led Argentina to the title in 1986, including scoring both goals in their 2-1 quarterfinals victory against England. The first was the notorious "Hand of God" goal, scored despite an uncalled handing penalty; the second was after a 66-yard dribble past five England players.
In his book, Maradona said of the former play, "Now I can say what I couldn't at that moment, what I defined at that time as 'The Hand of God'. What a hand of God, it was the hand of Diego!"
Maradona was an international icon, who played professionally for Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli and Sevilla, among others.
Here's how the sports world reacted to news of his death:
Per Sempre 💙— Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) November 25, 2020
Ciao Diego pic.twitter.com/LzppqlBqLV
Eternas gracias. Eterno Diego. pic.twitter.com/SZVNOJnZ1j— Boca Jrs. Oficial (desde 🏡) (@BocaJrsOficial) November 25, 2020
Thank you for everything, Diego pic.twitter.com/bJ9l3ixY7A— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 25, 2020
Que notícia triste. Eu perdi um grande amigo e o mundo perdeu uma lenda. Ainda há muito a ser dito, mas por agora, que Deus dê força para os familiares. Um dia, eu espero que possamos jogar bola juntos no céu. pic.twitter.com/6Li76HTikA— Pelé (@Pele) November 25, 2020
Pele's translation: "What sad news. I 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 family members. One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky."
Lionel Messi's tribute: "A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal. I keep all the beautiful moments lived with him and I wanted to take the opportunity to send my condolences to all his family and friends. RIP."
Hoje despeço-me de um amigo e o Mundo despede-se de um génio eterno. Um dos melhores de todos os tempos. Um mágico inigualável. Parte demasiado cedo, mas deixa um legado sem limites e um vazio que jamais será preenchido. Descansa em paz, craque. Nunca serás esquecido.🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/WTS21uxmdL— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 25, 2020
From Cristiano Ronaldo: Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius. One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten."
Neymar also posted on Instagram: "RIP LEGEND!" Followed in Portuguese by this: "You will always be in our memories, you left your legacy. FOOTBALL thanks you. Rest in peace legend."
Sergio Aguero, Argentina striker, was married to Maradona's youngest daughter at one time. He said, "We are never going to forget you. You will always be with us.#GraciasDiego RIP."
Nos llevaste a lo más alto del mundo. Nos hiciste inmensamente felices. Fuiste el más grande de todos.— Alberto Fernández (@alferdez) November 25, 2020
Gracias por haber existido, Diego. Te vamos a extrañar toda la vida. pic.twitter.com/pAf38sRlGC
Argentina's president, Alberto Fernandez, also commented on Maradona's passing: "You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all. Thanks for having existed, Diego. We will miss you for life."
La Asociación del Fútbol Argentino, a través de su Presidente Claudio Tapia, manifiesta su más profundo dolor por el fallecimiento de nuestra leyenda, Diego Armando Maradona.— AFA (@afa) November 25, 2020
Siempre estarás en nuestros corazones 💙 pic.twitter.com/xh6DdfCFed
The official account for the Argentina FA also had this to share: "The Argentine Football Association, through its President Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts."
RIP Football legend Diego Maradona 🙏— Queen (@QueenWillRock) November 25, 2020
Photograph by Neal Preston © Queen Productions Ltd pic.twitter.com/A3o8A6pO2s
Cant quite believe DM has gone. Hard to process. He always seemed indestructible. I had 10 hours with the man!! I touched his left foot. We did our best to show the world the man, the myth, the fighter he was. The greatest #legend #DiegoMaradona @MaradonaMovie #Diego #maradona pic.twitter.com/4BSULN9rdt— asifkapadia (@asifkapadia) November 25, 2020
Muy triste! Gracias Diego por tan lindos momentos!— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) November 25, 2020
Abrazo enorme para toda su familia y para un pueblo que lo amó profundamente. pic.twitter.com/QC0s8xbzHR
NBA legend and Argentina star, Manu Ginobili: "Very sad! Thanks Diego for such beautiful moments! Huge hug for all his family and for a people who loved him deeply."
Dieguito. Inside the football pitch, he was always so so happy. Playing, he was out of this world. Outside the pitch, he was magical as well. So so funny. Being with him you know that special things would happen. I will miss you my friend... pic.twitter.com/2uA4dZLK7s— osvaldo ardiles (@osvaldooardiles) November 25, 2020
Hasta siempre, Diego. pic.twitter.com/IDrvng1CSq— River Plate (@RiverPlate) November 25, 2020
The Hand of God, Maradona has left us. In 86 we both won our championships. They use to compare the two of us. He was one of my hero's and a friend. I respected him so much. He will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/E5j6DSfJas— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) November 25, 2020
In a neat nod to an iconic viral video from Diego Maradona's time at Napoli, Ajax defender (and Argentina international) Nicolas Tagliafico, tried his best to emulate it right down to the pre-match hops and the choice of music...
A true great of the game.— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 25, 2020
Rest in peace, Diego Maradona. pic.twitter.com/jImGjnjhUl
Football has lost one of its greatest icons.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 25, 2020
Rest in peace, Diego Maradona. pic.twitter.com/uGIinhLDgf
The one and only, Diego Maradona - R.I.P. 🇦🇷🌎 pic.twitter.com/r9pvWMaSTt— Defected Records (@DefectedRecords) November 25, 2020
Privileged to have met him. Very sad news. RIP Diego Maradona. pic.twitter.com/x2LcIeQPqr— Harry Kane (@HKane) November 25, 2020
Rest in peace, Legend. 🙏— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) November 25, 2020
Diego Maradona. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/Ftw1h1TNuc
Thread/— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) November 25, 2020
1. Diego Maradona was for my generation, born in the late 60s, the player most of saw in his absolute prime while we were teenagers & knew we were watching true greatness. No one played football more naturally than Diego Armando Maradona.
From Mexico star, Rafa Marquez: "Sad news for all of us who love this beautiful sport (Soccer), rest in peace Legend, Diego Armando Maradona."
A true football legend passed away.— PSV (@PSV) November 25, 2020
It was an honor to have you in our stadium. Rest in peace, Diego Maradona 🌹 pic.twitter.com/38KAPadvHy
A legend amongst legends.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) November 25, 2020
Triste noticia para todos los que amamos este hermoso deporte (Fútbol), descansa en paz Leyenda, Diego Armando Maradona #QEPD— Rafa Marquez (@RafaMarquezMX) November 25, 2020
Mon idole est décédée,— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) November 25, 2020
RIP Diego Armando Maradona, my first ever football shirt, the man behind my love for football
Gracias El Pibe 💔
🇦🇷 🇦🇷 🇦🇷 🇦🇷 🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/Xns3Z72pxt
Other reactions from around the world
- Franco Baresi, Milan (1977-97) and Italy (1982-94) defender, who played against Maradona several times at the club and international level: "I am devastated. It has been an honour to have you as an adversary. You had a big heart, you will continue to make magic and joy and emotions always."
- Paolo Dal Pino, president of Serie A: "It is a very sad day for the football world. Today, a legend of our sport has left us. One who made us dream and excited fans across the planet. For the next set of fixtures, we will remember him with a 'special initiative.'"
-- Official statement from Napoli, where he won two Serie A titles: "Everyone is waiting for words from us. But what words could be possible use for pain as strong as that we are currently experiencing? Now is the time for tears. Later, it will be words."