Argentina suffered a great loss with the passing of Diego Maradona on Wednesday, and the world felt the same way and is now grieving. He was 60. Maradona died of a heart attack as confirmed by the people close to the football superstar.
Maradona was released recently from the hospital following brain surgery and Argentina expected the football star to recover. His death came as a complete surprise to a nation that had embraced Maradona's greatness and his imperfections.
Argentina will mourn the hero for three days and the country's love affair with Maradona was no secret. He was loved by the football-crazed Argentines and for a good reason. Maradona made known to the world that Argentina is one of the best in the beautiful game, and this even before the name Lionel Messi came into consciousness.
In 1986, Argentina defeated England in the World Cup quarterfinal match but the 2-1 victory was somehow overshadowed by Maradona's first goal in the game. England keeper Peter Shilton questioned the score, claiming the ball cleared the net with a nudge from Maradona's hand.
The referee allowed the goal to stand and it was immortalized in the football world as the "Hand of God," according to the Associated Press. Maradona attacked the net again later in the game and Shilton failed to stop the ball.
The World Cup win is considered as the height of the Argentine superstar's career. He continued his winning ways playing for big clubs such as Barcelona and Napoli but Maradona soon found himself struggling with his personal demons.
It became a roller-coaster ride for him and the same can be said about his career after leaving the competitions in Europe. Maradona had to deal with drug use and health issues and the struggles took a toll on his game.
And in coaching duties for Argentina, it became apparent that Maradona's issues affected his job. His tactics and decision-making came into serious question when Bolivia dealt a crushing 6-1 defeat to the Argentine side.
Despite the disappointments, Argentina did not give up on Maradona. The nation loved him dearly and saw him as a source of inspiration. And he got the same regard from football greats.
Pele expressed deep sorrow that Maradona is no more. FIFA acknowledged the Brazilian icon and Maradona as football's greatest and the latter's death is a huge loss. But according to Pele, the passing has a more profound impact on him.
Pele said: He had lost "a dear friend," that he hopes he can play soccer in the sky someday.
Goal said David Beckham called Maradona "a pure genius" and his death made a sad day not only for the Argentines but also for the rest of the world.
On Instagram, Messi insisted that Maradona is eternal and the beautiful moments he shared with the icon will live on.
For his part, Cristiano Ronaldo lamented that Maradona was gone too soon, adding that the "unmatched magician left a void that will never be filled."
Per the same report, all the tributes summed to one thing - that Maradona will finally find some comfort in the hand of God.