There are sports stars and then there are legends like Diego Maradona. He was perhaps one of the earliest representations of talent trouncing of any personal misgivings, who breathed his last on 25 November 2020, at the age of 60, due to a heart attack.
A key player in the 1986 World Cup, Maradona was instrumental in leading Argentina to winning the FIFA World Cup. During the quarter finals with England, he described his unlikely goal as “the hand of God” incident, and from then on, the phrase was synonymous with the footballer.
Maradona was one who lived his life King size, and by his own rules. He never deferred or cowered before anyone, “I am black or white, I’ll never be grey in my life,” he once said. His mercurial talent and temperament took him to greatest heights and plunged him into abysmal lows as well. Whatever his personal misgivings were, there is no question that there are few stars that shine brighter than Maradona in the world of sports.
Today, as people the world over mourn his passing, it is with a great sense of celebration for his life that he is revered.
Mike Tyson, a former professional boxer from America also took to twitter to speak about his fond memories of Maradona.
The Hand of God, Maradona has left us. In 86 we both won our championships. They use to compare the two of us. He was one of my hero’s and a friend. I respected him so much. He will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/E5j6DSfJas
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) November 25, 2020
With tributes pouring in from all quarters, I M Vijayan, former Indian Football captain also took to twitter to express his condolence at the passing of Maradona. “RIP God of football,” he said in a tweet.
RIP God of football 😢 pic.twitter.com/7NO8qlZ5uT
— I M Vijayan (@IMVijayan1) November 25, 2020
Pope Francis also remembered Maradona in his prayers after learning of the soccer legend’s death.
Argentina President Alberto Fernández announcing three days of national mourning said, “You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all.”
At the time when Vijayan got to meet Maradona, he said, “The feeling of meeting Maradona was that of being close to God himself. This was the greatest recognition for me as a footballer. No gold medal or award can match it.”
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)