Argentine football legend Diego Maradona has died at the age of 60. He had undergone a brain surgery three weeks ago before being treated for alcohol dependency.
According to his lawyer, Maradona breathed for the last time at his home after suffering a cardio-respiratory arrest, reported Daily Mail.
Considered as one of the best footballers of all time, beside Brazilian legend Pele, Maradona played 91 international matches for Argentina and netted 34 goals.
However, the footballer’s popularity went beyond the numbers. He is believed to have “single-handedly” won Argentina the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, where he had also scored the infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal against England.
At the club level, Maradona had reached the pinnacle of the sport at Napoli where he had won two Italian Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990. He was also a talismanic figure in Napoli’s Italian Cup winning teams in 1987 and the UEFA Cup in 1991.
In the seven years at Napoli, from 1984 to 1991, Maradona had scored a total of 81 goals in 188 appearances. Between 1982 and 1984, he played for Barcelona as well, scoring 22 goals in 36 appearances for the Catalan giants.
However, as much as he was known for his on-field heroics, Maradona was notorious for his behaviour off the field. It had affected his game as well at the twilight of his career as he was banned from the 1994 World Cup after failing a drug test. He was also banned for 15 months after leaving Napoli in 1991.
His issues with drug abuse and alcohol addiction were widely reported and so were the health problems he suffered as consequences. He had been suffering heart problems since 1999-2000.
In 2004, Maradona had been treated in hospital for severe heart and respiratory illnesses linked to drug abuse and alcohol addiction. He had undergone two gastric bypass surgeries to control his weight.
Before his brain surgery in November, he had to come under the knives to stem bleeding in his stomach and in July underwent a knee surgery as well. The last operation was undertaken by the former footballer to remove a blood clot in his brain.
Argentine news outlet Clarion broke the news first on Wednesday and described Maradona’s death as carrying a ‘worldwide impact’.