Diego Maradona, widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time before drug and alcohol addiction marred his career, died on Wednesday at his home in Argentina after suffering a heart attack, his lawyer said. He was 60.
He was a uniquely gifted player, who rose from the tough streets of Buenos Aires to reach the pinnacle of his sport. But Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, wasn't only beloved in his homeland; his fandom extended all over the world, among soccer and sports enthusiasts alike.
As Argentina’s stunned soccer fans sought each other to mourn the death of Maradona, gathering by the hundreds in spots linked to the life of the legendary player, tributes poured in from around the world as a testament to the late player's career and skills.
Soccer world mourns
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo called him an “unparalleled magician”.
“Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius. One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon, but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten.”
Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi also shared a picture with the great, saying it was "a very sad day for all Argentinians and for football".
"He leaves us, but he is not gone because Diego is eternal. I stay with all the beautiful moments I lived with him and I wanted to send my condolences to his family and friends.”
Former England skipper David Beckham wrote on Instagram: “A sad day for Argentina and a sad day for football as we celebrate the greatness of what this man gave us."
Pele, the Brazilian footballer who is considered one of the only players to have come close to Maradona’s skill level, was quick to pay tribute to the Argentine.
“Sad news today. I have lost a dear friend, and the world has lost a legend. There is much more to say, but for now may God give his family strength. One day, I hope, we will play soccer together in the sky,” he wrote.
Boxer Mike Tyson says farewell to a friend
Mike Tyson recalled becoming heavyweight boxing champion in 1986 months after Maradona also became a world champion.
“They use to compare the two of us,” Tyson tweeted. “He was one of my heroes and a friend.”
Maradona remembered on both sides of the border
In Pakistan, cricketers and sports enthusiasts remembered his skills.
Across the border, Bollywood celebrities also posted messages for the legend.