Earlier this month, Maradona underwent surgery for a clot in the brain and his doctor revealed that he was fine.
Notoriously known for his infamous "hand of God" goal against England and leading Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, Diego Maradona passed away in his Buenos Aires home on Wednesday, November 26. The 60-year-old suffered a massive cardiac arrest.
Earlier this November, the former footballer had undergone surgery for a brain clot. Just a week after it, he was discharged from the hospital and recovering at home when the shocking news surfaced, reported The Sun.
Maradona, who is known as one of the greatest footballers along with Pele, turned 60 in October 2020. He has always had controversies around him since the beginning, but he never let these deter him from his game. From being removed from the 1994 World Cup in the United States for doping to being a coach on and off, he has experienced everything in the football world, reported Money Control.
He had a close call with death back in 2000 after overdosing on cocaine. Maradona's career had a major setback after he struggled with drug abuse and alcoholism. Worshipped as "El Dios" which means "The God" in Argentina, the footballer reinvented his image in 2008 after he became a coach for the Argentina team and lead them to victory with no previous experience as a coach. His passion for his beloved sport and charisma made him an inspiring coach.
"In our collective imagination, Diego Maradona represents a certain glorious past, he's a symbol of what we might have been," Pablo Alabarces, a popular culture professor at Buenos Aires University, reported Goulburn Post. "He will always be forgiven," added Maradona fan Marcelo Pose, a Buenos Aires attorney.
Details about his last few hours were revealed soon after the news of his death broke out. The Sun reported that after having breakfast, he realized that he wasn't feeling well and went to take some rest after telling his nephew Johnny Esposito about his discomfort. The nurse who was taking care of him after the surgery called an ambulance immediately. Even though several responded to the call, all of them were too late to come to the footballer's help.
Local Argentine media gave in-depth details and reported that the former Napoli and Barcelona star woke up pale and cold in the morning. His last words were "Me Siento mal," which means "I don’t feel well,’ before he went back to bed. The emergency responders tried their best to revive an unresponsive Maradona who had suffered a heart attack. The state prosecutors, who have started a routine inquiry into his death, have disclosed that he passed away around midday.
Maradona's family agreed to an autopsy and as his body was taken to a nearby morgue, Prosecution chief John Broyad speaking outside San Andres said, “Diego Armando Maradona died around 12 pm local time. The forensic police began their work at 4 pm. No signs of any criminality or violence have been detected. The autopsy is being carried out to determine beyond any doubt the cause of death but we can say at this stage that everything is pointing to natural causes.”
The retired footballer's wake is said to take place at Casa Rosada, which is an Argentinian equivalent to the White House. Three days of national mourning has also been announced by President Alberto Fernandez, reported BA Times.
During an interview 15 years back on the show La Noche del 10, Maradona had said, "getting old with his grandchildren would mean a peaceful death" for him, as per The Sun. When asked what he would like his tombstone to read, he said, “Thanks for having played football because it’s the sport that gave me most happiness and freedom and it’s like having touched the sky with my hand. Thanks to the ball." He added, “Yes, I would put that on the tombstone, ‘Thanks to the ball.'”
Pele, too, paid tribute to his friend and wrote on Twitter, "Sad news today. I have lost a dear friend, and the world has lost a legend. There is much more to say, but for now, may God give his family strength. One day I hope we will play soccer together in the sky."
RIP Diego ❤️— Pelé Soccer (@pelesoccershop) November 25, 2020
“Sad news today. I have lost a dear friend, and the world has lost a legend. There is much more to say, but for now may God give his family strength. One day, I hope, we will play soccer together in the sky.”
- Pelé pic.twitter.com/gkjdlV6QiM
Footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi also paid tribute to the legend on Instagram. "A very sad day for all Argentines and football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal. One of the best ever and an unmatched magician," Messi penned and continued, "I take all the moments lived with him and wanted to send condolences to all his family and friends. RIP."
Ronaldo wrote, "Today I bid farewell to a friend and the world says farewell to an eternal genius. One of the best ever and an unmatched magician. Leaves too soon but leaves a boundless legacy and a void that will never be filled. RIP crack. You will never be forgotten."