Boca Juniors head coach Miguel Angel Russo said "the greatest of all just left us" after the death of his former team-mate, Diego Maradona.

Maradona, regarded as arguably the greatest footballer ever, died aged 60 after a suspected heart attack on Wednesday.

Russo was a former Argentina team-mate of Maradona's and the Boca coach was saddened by his death.

"I feel a big sorrow, a deep pain as he was the greatest player in Argentina and the world," he told reporters.

"I had the chance to be his team-mate for the national team and we shared many things. He gave so many things to the Argentinian people and the sport of football.

"The greatest of all just left us."

Russo shared his memories of Maradona, who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, with the pair having also coached against one another earlier this year when Boca beat Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata.

"The best of our memories together will stay with me. We have lots of stories together," he said.

"I feel a deep pain and a big sorrow, but we all are aware of how much he gave to the Argentinian football, his joy was all about playing."

Russo added: "There are lots of memories. When having lunch, I loved eating an orange but then he started playing with it [like a ball] and making it softer.

"So I always told him, 'Diego, I'm starving, please give me that already', as the orange never touched the ground."

Boca, where Maradona had two spells as a player, had their Copa Libertadores clash against Internacional, scheduled for Wednesday, postponed.

Russo thanked CONMEBOL for postponing the last-16 first leg.

"The squad and I were having lunch but then our mood changed on hearing the news. We just knew at the moment what we had to do," he said.

"I appreciate that CONMEBOL understood the situation for Boca. It just wasn't the right moment to play a football game."

Luis Milla recalled fond memories of training and playing with Argentina and Napoli great Diego Maradona at LaLiga powerhouse Barcelona.

Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata head coach Maradona – arguably football's greatest ever player – died at the age of 60 after a suspected heart attack, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) confirmed on Wednesday.

Maradona was discharged from hospital a fortnight ago following brain surgery, having undergone a routine operation for a subdural haematoma after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anaemia and dehydration.

Maradona had the best years of his club career in Italy, playing a massive part in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons, having arrived from Barca in 1984.

The World Cup winner celebrated three trophies during his time at Camp Nou, where he claimed Copa del Rey, Copa de la Liga and Supercopa de Espana glory in 1983.

Former team-mate Milla, who emerged from Barca's youth team in 1984 and went on to represent the Catalan giants before joining bitter rivals Real Madrid in 1990, hailed Maradona.

"When he was there [at Barca], I was playing in the youth team and [Cesar Luis] Menotti, who was the main coach then used to organise matches every Thursday between the first team and a selection of players from the academy," Milla, who also faced Maradona during his time at Sevilla, told Stats Perform News.

"We played many games against the first team. For me, having at that at 18 years old, you can imagine the dream of playing against Maradona. Then when he came back to Spain, I also played against him when I was a Real Madrid player.

"We who belong to his era and also younger players have seen his football. Someone that has been able to win a World Cup in the way that he did, and be so important for that national team, he was so great, even though I believe that he could has been better in terms of performing if you look at his talent and peaks."

Maradona, who went on to coach his country at the 2010 World Cup, had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.

He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.

Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia last year.

From the slums of Buenos Aires to the face of football. Former England midfielder Peter Reid hailed Diego Maradona following his death.

Maradona – arguably football's greatest ever player – died at the age of 60 after a suspected heart attack, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) confirmed on Wednesday.

Argentina and Napoli great Maradona was discharged from hospital a fortnight ago following brain surgery, having undergone a routine operation for a subdural haematoma after the World Cup winner was admitted to hospital due to concerns over anaemia and dehydration.

Reid came up against Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata head coach Maradona on the international stage and he told Stats Perform News: "He is like, in Argentina and Napoli – Naples – he is like God. He is like the King, royalty and that's Diego Maradona.

Englishman Reid also recalled Maradona's infamous 'Hand of God' goal and his stunner against England at the 1986 World Cup.

Hailed by many as the greatest goal of all time, Maradona picked up the ball inside his own half and dribbled past four England players before calmly rounding Peter Shilton in the quarter-final clash – Reid one of the players left behind during the mesmerising run.

The moment of magic arrived four minutes after Maradona handled the ball and scored as Argentina eventually went on to claim the World Cup 34 years ago in Mexico.

"Well, he cheated, he cheated in the first goal," Reid said. "The second was an artist at work, at the best of his ability. I got to talk to him – through an interpreter – on a couple of occasions. He was a very warm human being and I think his legacy – I think he was a flawed character, I think his drug abuse was well known and that might have caught up with him.

"But, I tend to go on the positives, on what he did on the football pitch; and what he did for the nation; and what he did for the likes of Napoli and Boca Juniors. I mean, you watch a game for Boca Juniors and there's still flags for him and there's flags in Naples about him. I mean the legacy is magnificent. So yeah, a flawed character, but was that because he didn't get any privacy?

"Don't forget he was born in the slums of Buenos Aires and he made his way up to the pinnacle of his career. You've got to give him all the credit in the world for that. Yeah, we are all human beings and we have all got faults. I tend to look at his plus points, which is [that] he was one of the greatest players to ever walk the planet."

Maradona, who went on to coach his country at the 2010 World Cup, had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.

He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.

Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

Maradona had the best years of his club career in Italy, playing a massive part in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons.

Playmaker Maradona also lifted the UEFA Cup with Napoli in 1989 and he won three trophies during his time at Barca – including the Copa del Rey in 1983.

Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia last year.

"At Barcelona I think injuries hindered him," Reid added. "But when he went to Napoli, 'wow'. I mean, if you go to Napoli, he is like – is it fair to say God? He is like a God there. I mean I know it is a ridiculous statement, but he is!

"And the other thing, I went to Argentina an awful lot watching football when I was a manager and a coach in Buenos Aires. And if you ask 99.9 per cent of Argentinians who the best player ever was, they will say Diego Maradona. Now why I am saying that is because of Lionel Messi who, let's have it right, is unbelievable. But, am I going to argue with Argentinians? No, no."

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster expects Argentina to have even greater emotion in the wake of Diego Maradona's death.

Arguably the best footballer of all-time, Maradona died at the age of 60 after a suspected heart attack on Wednesday.

An icon in Argentina after leading the country to the 1986 World Cup title, three days of official mourning were declared in the nation following Maradona's death.

Meanwhile, the Pumas are preparing to face New Zealand in the Tri Nations in Newcastle on Saturday.

Foster said there could be added emotion for Argentina, who beat the All Blacks for the first time in a stunning upset earlier this month.

"It's hard to say from our perspective, but I mean clearly it's a sad day for Argentina as a nation," he told a news conference on Thursday.

"I guess all we can do is we commiserate with them, he's an iconic sporting person and clearly had a lot of meaning for the people of Argentina so we just acknowledge that.

"Clearly when you're going into a game you're the next big game off the track for that country. It's going to have some emotional appeal but that's something that they will deal with and they will control.

"We've got to control our own emotions and we've got plenty of reasons and plenty of determination to play for our country as well and representing our people and doing what we need to do to fix up a performance two weeks ago is pretty high on our list."

Argentina have two games left in the Tri Nations, with the Pumas, All Blacks and Wallabies all locked on six points in the table.

The All Blacks have made three changes to their starting team to face Argentina as Joe Moody prepares for his 50th Test.

New Zealand will face the Pumas in Newcastle on Saturday in a clash between the top two in the Tri Nations table.

Moody, 32, has been named to make his 50th Test appearance, with the All Blacks opting for three changes to the side that was stunned by Argentina earlier this month.

Scott Barrett has replaced Patrick Tuipulotu, while Nepo Laulala and Akira Ioane have come in for Tyrel Lomax and Shannon Frizell respectively.

"We've had a great week building into what will be a vital Test for us," All Blacks head coach Ian Foster said.

"It's exciting in the sense that we have the opportunity to redeem ourselves after our last game, and we also have the opportunity to win the Investec Tri Nations.

"There's a real determination in the team to perform well, not only for ourselves, but also our families and friends at home and our country."

New Zealand, Argentina and Australia are all locked on six points in the Tri Nations table, with this outing being the All Blacks' last.

The Pumas' win over the All Blacks last time out was their first over New Zealand in Test rugby.

Argentina are undefeated in their past three Tests and last enjoyed a longer unbeaten run from September to October in 2015.

They have made 10 changes to the starting team that drew with the Wallabies last week, including handing a Test debut to Lucas Paulos.

New Zealand: Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jack Goodhue, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Akira Ioane, Sam Cane, Ardie Savea.
Replacements: Codie Taylor, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Tyrel Lomax, Patrick Tuipulotu, Hoskins Sotutu, TJ Perenara, Rieko Ioane, Will Jordan.

Argentina: Emiliano Boffelli, Ramiro Moyano, Juan Cruz Mallia, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Santiago Cordero, Nicolas Sanchez, Felipe Ezcurra; Mayco Vivas, Julian Montoya, Santiago Medrano, Guido Petti, Lucas Paulos, Pablo Matera, Marcos Kremer, Facundo Isa.
Replacements: Santiago Socino, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Lucio Sordoni, Matias Alemanno, Santiago Grondona, Gonzalo Bertranou, Santiago Carreras, Lucas Mensa.

Marseille head coach Andre Villas-Boas urged FIFA to "withdraw the number 10 for all competitions" to honour Diego Maradona.

Maradona, widely regarded as one of the best players of all-time, died at the age of 60 on Wednesday after a suspected heart attack.

He starred in the number 10 for Napoli and Argentina during his playing career, and the shirt was retired by the Serie A club in his honour in 2000.

Villas-Boas wants to see FIFA go one step further and withdraw the number 10 completely.

"For Maradona, it's a hard blow. I would like FIFA to withdraw the number 10 for all competitions, all teams," he told a news conference after Marseille's 2-0 Champions League loss to Porto on Wednesday.

"I think it's the best tribute that can be given to the greatest player in the history of football. It is an incredible loss for the world of football."

Villas-Boas said he would always remember his one meeting with Maradona.

"Yes, I met him once. He was a guest at the Pinetina, the Inter Milan sports centre, when I was there," he said.

"And I remember this photo, next to my trophies in Porto. Because of that, I bought a watch when Hublot had them signed by Maradona. And this watch came with a jersey signed by him that I still keep. These are good memories.

"But Maradona wasn't just that. It's his genius from the world of football, the images he leaves us, the image of his warm-up in Naples, those kinds of things that are extraordinary.

"It's a loss for everyone. I only met him once, next to each other, it's a moment I won't forget."

Maradona, the captain and inspiration behind Argentina's World Cup success in 1986 before going on to coach his country at the 2010 showpiece, had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.

He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.

Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

Maradona had the best years of his club career in Italy, playing a massive part in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons.

Playmaker Maradona also lifted the UEFA Cup with Napoli in 1989 and he won three trophies during his time at Barca – including the Copa del Rey in 1983.

Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia last year.

Inter head coach Antonio Conte described Diego Maradona as "the poetry of football" following the Argentina and Napoli great's death on Wednesday.

Maradona – arguably football's greatest ever player – died at the age of 60 after a suspected heart attack, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) confirmed midweek.

World Cup winner Maradona was discharged from hospital a fortnight ago following brain surgery, having undergone a routine operation for a subdural haematoma after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anaemia and dehydration.

Conte came up against Maradona during his time with boyhood club Lecce in Serie A, and he lauded the former Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata head coach following Wednesday's 2-0 Champions League loss to Real Madrid.

"We are all shedding tears for the loss of a man who wrote football history and will always be an indelible figure in this sport," Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

"He was the poetry of football. I had the pleasure of playing against him, of marking him, and it still doesn't seem real that he's gone, especially as he was still young. It's very sad."

Madrid boss Zidane also spoke glowingly of Maradona after the LaLiga champions won at San Siro for the first time in their history.

Former France international Zidane – also a World Cup winner – added: "It's an enormous loss for the world of football.

"I have him engrained in my head because of what he did at the 1986 World Cup. I was 14 years old... I have no words. We're all very sad."

Maradona, the captain and inspiration behind Argentina's World Cup success in 1986 before going on to coach his country at the 2010 showpiece, had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.

He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.

Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

Maradona had the best years of his club career in Italy, playing a massive part in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons.

Playmaker Maradona also lifted the UEFA Cup with Napoli in 1989 and he won three trophies during his time at Barca – including the Copa del Rey in 1983.

Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia last year.

Diego Simeone found it difficult to accept the news of Diego Maradona's passing as he reflected on a difficult night for his Atletico Madrid side.

Maradona passed away at the age of 60 on Wednesday, his lawyer confirming he died of natural causes.

Shortly after news of Maradona's death, Atleti kicked-off against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League, with the Group A clash ending 0-0.

Simeone was in the Argentina squad with the Napoli legend at the 1994 World Cup, having also been a team-mate of the mercurial midfielder at Sevilla in 1992-93.

"It's hard. When they call you on the phone and tell you that Diego passed away, you think, 'Diego cannot die'," Simeone told a news conference.

"A myth is leaving us, an Argentine who transmitted all his rebellion to fight with his positive and negative things, but always going forward. The way to get excited about playing soccer was by looking at him.

"He welcomed me in a spectacular way in Seville, I was young. The moment they tell you about this situation [Maradona dying] you say, 'It can't be, he can always come out.'

"This time he could not, but he will always be with us, especially with the Argentines, he is a myth and it gives us a lot of sadness and emptiness – it cannot be. A very strong hug for his closest family and a lot of pain."

While Simeone mourned the death of his former team-mate and one of Argentina's most famous players, he also had to contend with a frustrating display from his Atleti team.

Atleti registered 20 attempts against Lokomotiv yet could not find the net – it is the most shots a team has amassed in a Champions League match this season without scoring.

The draw leaves Atleti, whose captain Koke had a goal disallowed by VAR on his club-record 100th European appearance, second on five points from four games, and they still have work to do if they are to qualify for the last 16.

"We are concerned with the Champions League, of course, we know that it has started with difficulties," Simeone added.

"These last two games we generated many chances to win them. The goal came, unfortunately it was offside."

Diego Maradona dragged Argentina to World Cup glory, triumphed in Italy and Europe with Napoli and won countless individual honours.

Along the way, the footballing great – who died on Wednesday at the age of 60 – scored some of the greatest goals the game has ever seen.

No matter the occasion, or indeed the opponent, Maradona was often unplayable – as can be seen from our selection of his five greatest ever goals.

 

Argentina v England (June 22, 1986)

Hailed by many as the greatest goal of all time, Maradona picked up the ball inside his own half and dribbled past four England players before calmly rounding Peter Shilton.

The moment of magic arrived four minutes after the infamous 'Hand of God' goal and helped Argentina into the semi-finals of the 1986 World Cup, which they went on to win.

 

Argentina v Belgium (June 25, 1986)

The goal scored by Maradona three days later, this time in the semi-finals, was not too dissimilar in that he had four opposition players between himself and the goal.

He slalomed between two of them, jinked past another – in the process taking out a fourth – and fired past Jean-Marie Pfaff for his second goal of the contest.

Napoli v Juventus (November 3, 1985)

Napoli ended their 12-year wait for a league victory over rivals Juventus thanks to Maradona's brilliance of a different kind. If the previous goals were all about neat footwork and clinical finishing, this was more to do with sheer audacity.

A large wall, set five metres from the ball, was not enough to stop the Argentine maestro delicately lifting the indirect free-kick into the one spot Stefano Tacconi could not reach.

Napoli v Hellas Verona (October 20, 1985)

This one was all about the technique - and the confidence to even think about taking it on. Maradona brought down the ball with his first touch, turned and sent a long-range drive flying over Giuliano Giuliani from a good 40 yards out.

What made it all the more special is that this strike came in a 5-0 thrashing of Verona, who were the reigning Serie A champions at the time.

Boca Juniors v River Plate (April 10, 1981)

Maradona spent a season with Boca Juniors before arriving in Europe and it soon became clear what a talent he would become.

His first spell at the club may have been short but he left behind plenty of memories, including a goal at the home of bitter rivals River Plate. With the angle against him, he squeezed in an effort with a masterful finish from the wing.

Pep Guardiola and Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp have paid tribute to Diego Maradona, with the Manchester City manager calling the Argentina great "a man of joy".

Maradona died aged 60 on Wednesday, with the former Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli star reportedly suffering a heart attack, though that has not been confirmed.

After a stellar playing career, Maradona struggled with drug and alcohol problems, though will no doubt go down as one of the greatest players to grace the game.

Shortly after news of Maradona's death was confirmed, City faced Olympiacos in the Champions League, with Phil Foden's goal earning a 1-0 win for Guardiola's side.

Sergio Aguero was married to Maradona's daughter Gianinna, with whom he has a son, though the pair have since split.

Aguero came on as a substitute in Athens, and Guardiola offered his support to the Argentine striker before reminiscing about one of football's greats.

"Firstly, support for Sergio, Diego was his son's grandfather," Guardiola told reporters.

"It was a banner in Argentina I think, one year ago I read it. It said, no matter what you have done in your life Diego, it matters what you have done for our lives.

"I think it fits perfectly with what this guy gave us. The man of joy, the pleasure, and his commitment to world football, he made world football better.

"His performance, what he had done in Napoli, and especially the national team in Argentina, Mexico 1986, it was something unbelievable. Rest in peace and on behalf of Manchester City of course, a big hug for all of his family."

Guardiola joined Barcelona's academy just as Maradona left for Napoli in 1984, with the Argentinian going on to win two Serie A titles in Naples.

"When I was a little boy with my dad, sometimes I came to Barcelona to see Maradona play football, it was incredible," Guardiola continued.

"When I arrived to the academy he left to Napoli, I could not share time, being there in the academy, being close more for the Barcelona games.

"I was not in the locker room with him, but all the people in the locker room who was with him, express his generosity, his thinking for all of them, making a better position for world football, and on the pitch was something unique, for one or two generations, he was a player like 'wow'.

"It's sad news, we knew that it was not perfect."

Liverpool lost 2-0 to Atalanta in their Champions League match at Anfield, and Reds manager Klopp told BT Sport beforehand: "I'm 53 and it feels like my entire life, he was part of it. When I was very, very young – maybe eight or nine, 10 years old – I saw him for the first time and he was 16 or 17.

"In any video, juggling the ball, from that moment on he was the player for me. From an international point of view there's Pele, Maradona, [Lionel] Messi, if you want – one Brazilian and two Argentinians.

"I saw his documentary not too long ago; Diego was a sensational guy, Maradona had some struggles, let me say it like this. I will miss both."

Carlo Ancelotti regularly played against Maradona during his stint in Italy, and the three-time Champions League-winning manager also offered his tribute.

"You were always a genius. Today is a very sad day and a great loss, but you my friend are eternal," Ancelotti, now in charge of Everton, posted on his official Instagram account.

"Ciao Diego. Rest In Peace."

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has paid tribute to Diego Maradona, describing the Argentina legend as "simply immense".

Napoli great Maradona died aged 60 on Wednesday after reportedly suffering a heart attack.

Argentina president Alberto Fernandez has declared three days of national mourning after the news of Maradona's passing.

The former attacking midfielder, who was the player of the tournament when he captained his country to World Cup glory in 1986, is one of the all-time greats and Infantino says he deserves "eternal gratitude" for what he brought to football. 

Infantino told FIFA's official website: "Today is an unbelievably sad day. Our Diego left us. Our hearts – of all of us who loved him for how he was, and for what he represented – have stopped beating for a moment. 

"Our silence, our tears, our pain is the only thing we are feeling deep inside us at this time.

"I always said it and I can just repeat it now, more convinced than ever: What Diego has done for football, for making all of us fall in love with this beautiful game, is unique. 

"It is, as he is, simply immense. Diego deserves our eternal gratitude for that, for having amazed us with his incredible talent and yes, for having been so unique. For having been Diego Armando Maradona, a legend, a hero, and a man.

"Diego may be eternal now, but for forever, Diego will also have a most prominent place in the incredible story of all football fairy tales. 

"Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends at this difficult time. Rest in peace, dear Diego. We love you."

Maradona won the Serie A title twice during the best years of his club career at Napoli, while he also played for Barcelona, Sevilla, Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors and Newell's Old Boys.

He embarked on a coaching career after retiring, including a spell in charge of his country.

San Isidro attorney general John Broyad said Diego Maradona died of natural causes as authorities await an autopsy following the Argentina and Napoli great's death.

Maradona died at the age of 60 after a suspected heart attack, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) confirmed on Wednesday.

Regarded as one of the greatest's ever footballers, Maradona was discharged from hospital a fortnight ago following brain surgery, having undergone a routine operation for a subdural haematoma after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anaemia and dehydration.

As the football and sporting world mourns the passing of one of the finest athletes to grace the planet, Broyad addressed the media outside the residence where Maradona died midweek.

"We can confirm, with great sadness, that affects the country and the entire world, the passing of Diego Armando Maradona, at approximately 12 noon today," Broyad said.

"The work of the forensic police got underway at 16:00 with investigators arriving at his residence and commencing their procedures.

"The personnel of forensic police departments of San Martin, San Isidro and La Plata, the most qualified departments overseeing procedures at private residences, inspected the body of Diego Armando Maradona.

"An autopsy will be carried out at the morgue of the San Fernando Hospital starting at 18:00. No sign of any foul play was noted, no sign of any violence was noted.

"The autopsy will be carried out in order to officially confirm the cause of death. At the moment, ahead of the autopsy and all the formalities, we can inform you that the death was a result of natural causes, without any, please wait, please wait, without any signs of violence. The autopsy will establish the cause of the death."

Maradona, the captain and inspiration behind Argentina's World Cup success in 1986 before going on to coach his country at the 2010 showpiece, had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.

He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.

Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

Maradona had the best years of his club career in Italy, playing a massive part in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons.

Playmaker Maradona also lifted the UEFA Cup with Napoli in 1989 and he won three trophies during his time at Barca – including the Copa del Rey in 1983.

Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia last year.

Football has produced few more divisive figures than Diego Maradona.

The Argentina great died on Wednesday at the age of 60 following a cardiac arrest and, while opinions on his legacy may differ depending on where you live, his remarkable impression on the game is undoubted.

The abiding image of Maradona for most likely stems from the 1986 World Cup quarter-final between Argentina and England.

For so many in England, he will forever be remembered for arguably the most controversial goal in the history of football, which saw the diminutive Maradona somehow rise above the comparatively towering figure of Peter Shilton and divert a sliced clearance from Steve Hodge into the empty net with his hand.

But that act of what can at best be considered deceit did not take away from the majesty of his ultimately decisive second goal, dubbed the Goal of the Century, with the balletic grace with which he weaved past the helpless England defenders before rounding Shilton and slotting home the defining memory of Maradona for his adoring fans in his home country and scores of fans around the world.

That game perhaps encapsulated the man known as El Pibe de Oro (The Golden Boy). As England striker Gary Lineker, who scored the goal overshadowed by Maradona's brace at Estadio Azteca, said in a tweet paying tribute following news of his death, the Albiceleste legend led a "blessed but troubled life".

Raised in a poor family in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Maradona's blessings were evident from an early age. At just eight years old, his promise was discovered by a scout, Francisco Cornejo, and he was signed to the youth team of Argentinos Juniors.

"He did things that I have never seen anyone else do," Cornejo, who died in 2008, later said of Maradona.

Maradona made his Argentinos debut 10 days before turning 16 and marked it in fitting fashion by nutmegging an opponent within minutes of entering the pitch.

One hundred and sixteen goals in 166 games for Argentinos followed and resulted in Maradona receiving a dream move to Boca Juniors, though his spell at La Bombonera yielded only one league title and was marked by a difficult relationship with coach Silvio Marzolini before he moved to Barcelona in a world-record transfer in 1982.

Barca did not see Maradona at his best at the 1982 World Cup in Spain that preceded his debut for the Blaugrana, yet the impact he had on his cohorts at Camp Nou was stark.

"He had complete mastery of the ball," former team-mate Lobo Carrasco remarked. "When Maradona ran with the ball or dribbled through the defence, he seemed to have the ball tied to his boots."

His time in Catalonia delivered both brilliance and tumult in equal measure. Maradona became the first Barca player to receive a standing ovation from Real Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabeu in 1983, but sustained a career-threatening ankle injury against Athletic Bilbao and was then involved in a brawl against the same opposition in the 1984 Copa del Rey final that hastened his exit from the club.

It was perhaps no surprise that the pinnacle of his international career coincided with that of his club career at Napoli, for whom Maradona will forever be an icon.

After being named player of the tournament at the '86 World Cup, Maradona inspired Napoli to their first Serie A title and triumph in the Coppa Italia. UEFA Cup glory followed in 1989 prior to a second league title a year later.

Napoli's Stadio San Paolo was the scene of glory for Argentina in a World Cup semi-final win over Italy, in which Maradona scored the ultimately decisive penalty in the shoot-out, though he could not ensure a successful title defence as West Germany prevailed in the final.

Italian football saw the best of Maradona, whom Franco Baresi described as his toughest opponent - "when he was on form, there was almost no way of stopping him," the Milan legend said.

Yet it also saw significant off-field struggles and he left Napoli after serving a 15-month ban for failing a drug test for cocaine, battling his addiction to the drug and alcohol until 2004.

He returned to Argentina by signing for Newell's Old Boys after a turbulent spell with Sevilla, with his international career ended in the wake of a positive test for ephedrine doping during the 1994 World Cup that resulted in him being sent home from the United States.

Retirement came on the back of a second two-year stint at Boca, but Maradona was rarely out of the spotlight even as he fought addiction and struggles with obesity, undergoing gastric bypass surgery in 2005.

His post-playing career also saw a string of brief coaching tenures, which included him leading Argentina to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup, where they were thumped 4-0 by Germany. Maradona made sure his departure was fittingly acrimonious, levelling accusations of betrayal at the national team's hierarchy.

Maradona had seemingly found some stability in his coaching career at Gimnasia y Esgrima de la Plata when he was admitted to hospital this month having recently renewed his contract through the 2020-21 season.

"We live an unforgettable story," Gimnasia posted in a tribute on Twitter.

Blessed but troubled, tempestuous yet utterly bewitching to watch. Gimnasia's words struck the right chord.

His story was undeniably unforgettable and it is telling that, despite Lionel Messi's otherworldly exploits, it is Maradona who stands as the symbol of Argentinian football for so many.

As Messi wrote of Maradona on Instagram: "He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal."

Whether it's the Hand of God or the Goal of the Century, his presentation to hordes of Napoli fans or that goal celebration at the 94 World Cup. Maradona was the artist behind so many of the game's indelible images. Football is mourning the premature passing of an all-time great, but his legacy and impact will endure for decades to come.

Diego Maradona enjoyed a stellar career, playing for some of the world's biggest clubs and instilling himself in World Cup folklore.

The Argentina great passed away at the age of 60 on Wednesday. No cause of death was stated, though it was reported he suffered a heart attack.

While his career was not shy of controversy, at his best Maradona was simply unplayable, and enjoyed success in South America and Europe, as well as on the international stage.

We take a look at his five greatest achievements, from World Cup success with Argentina to an era of Serie A glory with Napoli.

 

Bernabeu ovation

It takes something truly special for Real Madrid fans to contemplate applauding a Barcelona player at the Santiago Bernabeu. Maradona delivered just that in June 1983, when he rounded Los Blancos goalkeeper Agustin and then, with the goal at his mercy, opted to sit the back-pedalling Juan Jose on the floor before tucking the ball home.

Maradona was given a standing ovation when he was later substituted – something that would not be repeated for a Barcelona player in that ground for another 22 years, when Ronaldinho was similarly honoured.

Goal of the century

Maradona's greatest ever goal is arguably the best ever in the history of the World Cup. He made the extraordinary seem easy as a matter of regularity and, on June 22, in a 2-1 quarter-final win over England, he did just that. In perhaps a summary of Maradona the man – and the player – his moment of magic followed on from possibly his most controversial act on a pitch; the 'Hand of God' goal.

Four minutes later, Maradona embarked on a mazy, remarkable run through the heart of the opposition and, within seconds, was coolly rounding England goalkeeper Peter Shilton to put Argentina into an unassailable lead.

World Cup glory

Following the win over England, 25-year-old captain Maradona led Argentina to a 2-0 semi-final victory against Belgium – scoring both goals once again – and a 3-2 triumph over West Germany in the final, as his country clinched their second World Cup crown.

Maradona finished the tournament in Mexico with five goals and a further five assists in seven games – no player has done that since at a single edition of a World Cup.

He went on to captain his country again at the next World Cup, Italia 1990, before featuring twice in World Cup 1994, and he holds the Argentina record for the most number of appearances in the World Cup, with 21, ahead of Javier Mascherano (20) and Lionel Messi (19).

Triumph in Napoli

When Maradona arrived at Napoli in 1984, the club had not won a Serie A title in their 61-year history. After scoring 14 goals to help Napoli to eighth place in his first season, and netting another 11 as they finished third in his second, Maradona was the catalyst for a historic performance from the Partenopei in 1986-87.

They finished the season as champions, three points clear of bitter rivals Juventus, and the city exploded into celebrations that included an informal day of holiday to enjoy the moment. The triumph was by no means down to Maradona alone, but he is remembered as their inspiration and star.

Last-gasp joy as Albiceleste boss

Maradona's career as a head coach cut a stark contrast to his playing days, but a lack of success at the helm of Textil Mandiyu and Racing Club did not prevent him taking charge of his country in 2008. The highlight of a tumultuous two-year spell came in October 2009, when Peru came to Buenos Aires for a World Cup qualifier Argentina desperately needed to win to revive their hopes of qualifying for South Africa 2010. Maradona's decision to play Gonzalo Higuain ahead of Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero proved a shrewd one as the striker gave Argentina the lead, but Peru levelled the match in the last minute through Hernan Rengifo.

The moment called for a hero and Martin Palermo, recalled to the national team by Maradona after a 10-year absence, scored the winner deep into injury time to prompt wild celebrations on the touchline and in the stands, with the image of Maradona sliding along the rain-soaked pitch on his belly is etched into the country's memory.

Boca Juniors' Copa Libertadores clash against Internacional on Wednesday has been postponed following the death of Argentina legend Diego Maradona. 

The former Boca player had undergone a routine operation for a subdural haematoma after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anaemia and dehydration.

But on Wednesday, two weeks after being discharged, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) announced Maradona had died. 

No cause of death was stated, but it has been reported he suffered a heart attack.

CONMEBOL, the governing body of the Copa Libertadores, announced the first leg of Boca's last-16 tie against Internacional will now be played on December 2, with the return leg scheduled for December 9. 

Maradona first joined Boca in 1981 before moving to Barcelona the following year.

He went on to play for Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before, in 1995, he returned to Boca, where he finished his playing days. 

Argentina president Alberto Fernandez has declared three days of national mourning after the news of Maradona's passing.

 

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