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November 27, 2020

A legend dies

Editorial

 
November 27, 2020

For a moment, much of the world forgot everything and came together to mourn the death of Diego Maradona, arguably one of the greatest – if not the greatest – football players ever. Maradona, who died on Wednesday of cardiac arrest at the age of 60, changed the world of football during the time he dominated it. His goals, his skills with his feet, his feints, his dodges, and his ability to hurl the ball into the goal were dream-like. Many in fact did dream about them. Apart from winning two World Cups for Argentina during his career, he also lifted smaller club sides, like FC Barcelona, and later southern Italian side Napoli, scorned by his northern rivals to stardom. The number 10 shirt he wore for Napoli was retired after he left the club.

Tributes to Maradona have poured in from around the world, most for his magic on the field – a near love affair he had with the game of football. There are also those who remember the Maradona who was equally committed to his progressive ideals. Rising from absolute poverty in a shanty town near Buenos Aires, his generosity was legendary as well. Despite the darkness of cocaine addiction which haunted him and led to a disqualification from the 1994 World Cup, Maradona's status as The Golden Kid never went away. In fact, it was later fortified when he defended those without power and was openly associated with left-wing politics, becoming a personal friend of Fidel Castro, later his brother Raoul, as well as Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. For the English, Maradona was the 'Hand of God' that scored the goal of the century against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter final, leading Argentina to an unforgettable win. For the world, Maradona was the legend – with a Che Guevara tattoo – that brought magic on a football field. From Buenos Aires to Lyari, he became a figure known in every household and revered by the children who attempted to mimic him and his craft.