Diego Maradona dead at 60: From street urchin to the greatest footballer in the world.
Argentina’s favourite son and one of world football’s greatest ever players died today in his home in Buenos Aires from a heart attack, bringing to an end a life overflowing with glory and gross excess.
Maradona was a street urchin from a Buenos Aires slum whose natural genius with a football was complemented by a bloody-minded will to succeed.
That he played football like a God made him a figure of worship all over the world, but particularly in his homeland and in Naples, Italy, where he played at his peak.
While he may have appeared god-like on the pitch, in reality he was just a man — and the adulation gradually crushed him.
Intense pressures on and off the field, and a penchant for the kind of debauchery that can only come when nobody in your world ever tells you ‘no’, led to years of drug abuse, controversies and bizarre behaviour.
His flaws, writ large by a voracious media, never diminished the love many Argentinians felt for him, especially the poor and underprivileged, who always saw him as their talisman, conquering the world.
“Maradona offered to the Argentinians a way out of their collective frustration, and that’s why people love him,” explained his Argentina teammate Jorge Valdano.
“He is a divine figure.”