Diego Maradona, Argentinian Soccer Legend, Dies at 60

Nicknamed “El Pibe de Oro,” Maradona is considered among the greatest to ever play the game

Diego Maradona in the 1994 World Cup
Diego Maradona in the 1994 World Cup (Getty Images)

Diego Maradona, an Argentinian soccer player widely considered to be among the greatest to ever play the game, has died of a heart attack. He was 60.

The news was first reported Wednesday morning by the Argentinian newspaper Clarín. Maradona had recently left the hospital after undergoing brain surgery for a subdural hematoma.

During his 21-year career, Maradona was given the nickname “El Pibe de Oro” (“The Golden Boy”) and led Argentina to the World Cup title in 1986. Along with Pelé, Maradona was honored with the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award.

Maradona played for seven different clubs during his playing career, to go along with his 91 international appearances for team Argentina. He is most known for his time with FC Barcelona and Napoli (full name Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli), and set the record — twice — for a transfer fee when he moved from Boca Juniors to Barcelona, and then from Barcelona to Napoli. During his career, he won nine club titles with Boca Juniors (1), Barcelona (3) and Napoli (5).

On the international stage, Maradona played in four FIFA World Cups and scored both goals in Argentina’s 2-1 victory over West Germany in the 1986 final, earning him the Golden Ball award. He coached Argentina in the 2010 World Cup, but his team was knocked out by Germany 4-0 in the quarterfinals. His short-lived tenure as a coach was considered a major disappointment, especially given that Argentina had Lionel Messi, among the greatest current players, on its roster.

Maradona’s career was also marked by his public battles with addiction, including cocaine and alcohol. He was banned from the 1994 World Cup after he tested positive for ephedrine. He was the subject of multiple documentaries, the most recent being “Diego Maradona” by Asif Kapadia. ESPN also produced a documentary short on his 1986 World Cup triumph as part of its “30 for 30” series.

In a statement, the Argentine Football Association expressed its “deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You’ll always be in our hearts.”

Barcelona and Napoli also honored Maradona on their Twitter accounts:


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