Darren Adam 5am - 7am
Three days of mourning in Argentina after death of Diego Maradona
25 November 2020, 16:39 | Updated: 26 November 2020, 13:40
Three days of mourning have begun in Argentina after the death of football legend Diego Maradona aged 60.
The Argentina World Cup winner and the national team's former manager had been in hospital in Buenos Aires after surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain earlier this month.
The Argentine Football Association said on Twitter: "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."
It is understood UEFA will hold a minute's silence at all of Wednesday night's Champions League matches in Maradona's memory.
Maradona is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time and was the inspiration for Argentina's World Cup success in Mexico in 1986.
He also led the country to the final of the 1990 tournament in Italy and managed them in South Africa in 2010.
Maradona's successes made him a global star and a national hero in Argentina but his career was also blighted by controversies on and off the field.
His 'Hand of God' goal against England in the 1986 quarter-finals, when he pushed the ball into the net with his hand, earned him infamy - although he followed up by scoring the "goal of the century", a remarkable solo effort, in the same game.
Mark Bullingham, chief executive of the Football Association, said: "On behalf of the Football Association, our deepest condolences go to Diego Maradona's family and friends, the Argentine Football Association and the Argentinian people - as well as all the clubs he served.
UEFA confirmed a minute's silence will be held in memory of Maradona at all of this week's European matches.
"I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Diego Maradona, one of world football's greatest and most iconic figures," UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said. "I was in touch recently to wish him well, and this news comes as a considerable shock to me.
Reports from Argentina that Diego Armando Maradona has died. By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 25, 2020
"Diego Maradona achieved greatness as a wonderful player with a genius and charisma of his own.
"He was a hero in his native Argentina, with whom he enjoyed World Cup glory, and became an eternal idol for the supporters of Napoli, who will never forget the successes he brought to the club during his memorable spell in Italy.
"He will go down in history as someone who set football alight and thrilled fans young and old with his brilliance and skill.
"I have instructed UEFA to hold a minute's silence in memory of Diego at this week's matches."
"Undoubtedly one of the finest footballers to ever play the game, his remarkable achievements on the global stage will never be forgotten. It is important today that we celebrate his football genius and mourn his passing at the age of just 60."
Gary Lineker, who played in the England side in that quarter-final defeat, tweeted: "Reports from Argentina that Diego Armando Maradona has died.
Such sad news. A true legend of the sport. RIP Diego Maradona. pic.twitter.com/G0Mz4raHTj— Dele (@dele_official) November 25, 2020
"By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time.
"After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he'll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego"
Maradona's international playing career ended in shame when he failed a drugs test at the 1994 World Cup in the United States and he was notorious for a wayward lifestyle throughout his life.
He was also banned from football in 1991 after testing positive for cocaine while playing for Napoli.
However, he remained a revered figure at the Italian club, where he won two Serie A titles.
He also played for Barcelona, Sevilla, Boca Juniors and Newell's Old Boys and was most recently manager of Gimnasia y Esgrima in La Plata, Argentina.
Privileged to have met him. Very sad news. RIP Diego Maradona. pic.twitter.com/x2LcIeQPqr— Harry Kane (@HKane) November 25, 2020
Former Spain goalkeeper and fellow World Cup winner Iker Casillas tweeted: that it was a "sad day for football", describing Maradona as a "genius of this sport".
Real Madrid - great rivals of one of Maradona's former clubs, Barcelona - paid tribute to "one of the greatest players in all history".
"Diego Armando Maradona leaves an immense legacy, which has become a myth for millions of fans around the world," the club said in a statement.
Asif Kapadia, who directed the 2019 film Maradona, tweeted: "Can't 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."
Boca Juniors, where Maradona made his name before securing a then world-record transfer to Barcelona, tweeted: "Eternal thanks. Eternal Diego."