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Live Coverage: Diego Maradona dies aged 60 - reaction

Live Coverage: Diego Maradona dies aged 60 - reaction
© Reuters
Follow Sports Mole's live coverage of the reaction to the death of Argentina's 1986 World Cup-winning captain and football legend Diego Maradona.

18.30

That is where we will leave it for this afternoon, but rest assured that the tributes for Diego Maradona will continue to flood in over the coming hours and days.

Football has lost one of its greatest ever players, and arguably its most beloved son. There were plenty who disliked Maradona for his off-field antics and some of his actions on the pitch too, but perhaps no footballer in history has garnered the same admiration, love and fanfare as Maradona did at Boca, Napoli and for Argentina.

It is his status as a flawed genius which arguably helped this in addition to being a hinderance off the field. When the ball was at his feet, though, there are only a handful of players in the entire history of football who can come close.

Rest in peace Diego Armando Maradona - you will never be forgotten.

Argentina's Diego Maradona lifts the World Cup trophy after helping his team to the 1986 title© Reuters

18.26

18.24

Another legend in a growing list to hail Maradona as the best they have ever seen.

18.22

Chelsea were one of the best teams around at this stage, boasting some of the best footballers in the world, yet they were reduced to being fans again when Maradona visited their training ground.

18.19

Lionel Messi has now joined those paying tribute to a man who was his inspiration and then manager. Messi has proven to be the heir to Maradona's throne and, whichever side of the GOAT debate you sit on, these two are certainly very high up the list.

"A very sad day for all Argentines and football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal.

"I keep all the beautiful moments lived with him and I send my condolences to all his family and friends. RIP."

18.17

18.14

18.10

According to reports in Italy, Napoli are considering handing Diego Maradona the ultimate honour - naming the Stadio San Paolo, which he lit up so often, after him. What a tribute that would be for the club's greatest ever player.

18.08

Radamel Falcao has hailed Maradona as his "idol".

"Eternal. From a very young age you were always my idol. I remember spending hours watching your videos, with the illusion of one day being a professional gamer like you. When I had the opportunity to share with you, I realized your great heart.

"I was surprised that you treated me as if you had known me forever. You marked my life with your closeness and your affection.

"Your legacy will last forever. Thanks for everything Diego, thanks for allowing us to enjoy your talent on the football field. We will miss you. My big hug to his family and all the Argentine people at this time."

18.05

Romario - a legendary figure of Brazilian football himself - has declared Maradona "the best" he ever saw.

"My friend is gone. Maradona, the legend! The Argentine who conquered the world with the ball at his feet, but also for his joy and unique personality. I have already said a few times, of the players I saw on the pitch, he was the best.

"His passage around the world brought a lot of happiness to his country and delighted us all. I will never forget the laughs we had together. Certainly, he was never an opponent. He called me Chapolin and treated me like a brother.

"A boy, gone too soon. My hug to the Argentines, to the family. What a sadness, go with God, brother!"

18.03

17.59

17.56

It is striking, if unsurprising, how many footballers past and present have paid tribute to Maradona in the wake of his death. The degree to which he inspired footballers is enormous - very few have ever matched it.

17.53

We've heard from Pele, and now another of Maradona's GOAT rivals has spoken out, with Cristiano Ronaldo hailing him an "eternal genius", "one of the best ever" and "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."

17.50

There are so many iconic images of Maradona and moments from his career and, while his spells with Argentina and Napoli are perhaps most renowned for those, there are plenty from his time at Boca Juniors too.

From the boy wonder who took Argentina by storm to the larger-than-life superstar who conquered the world.

17.48

If you have nine minutes and 15 seconds spare this afternoon then, please, I implore you to watch Diego Maradona at his very best. An absolute artist with the ball at his feet.

17.46

17.44

17.41

There was certainly no love lost for plenty of England players (and fans!) after Maradona's Hand of God in 1986, but there was simply no denying his genius for the 'Goal of the Century' shortly afterwards.

17.39

Sergio Aguero was closer than most to Diego Maradona, having married his youngest daughter. The Manchester City striker will still be in the squad for tonight's Champions League game against Olympiacos, despite the death of his former father-in-law.

17.36

This news has been greeted with sadness and despair all over the world, but nowhere more so than his native Argentina where Maradona, to this day, is still considered a God-like figure.

17.32

It is probably safe to say that without Maradona, we may not have some of the stars of today - certainly they would not have been quite as inspired by the dazzling dribbling skills of perhaps the greatest of all time at that.

17.29

UEFA has announced that there will be a minute of silence held before all Champions League games tonight, in memory of the great Diego Maradona.

17.26

Despite that rivalry, there has always been a great respect between the two men who dominated the GOAT conversation for so many years, and Pele has now paid his own tribute to the only man who could really rival him as King of Football before Messi and Ronaldo came along...

That translates to:

"What sad news. I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members. One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky."

17.22

Pele and Maradona have already had a rivalry of sorts - think similar to Messi vs. Ronaldo, but one represents the clean-cut image of professionalism whereas the other is a player who makes as many headlines off the pitch as he does on it.

The duo were famously both awarded the FIFA Player of the Century award in 2000, but it was Maradona who actually picked up more votes that Pele before FIFA decided to share the award in recognition of Pele too.

Considering Pele scored more than 1,000 goals in his career whereas Maradona scored fewer than 350, that goes to show just how much the Argentine offered aside from putting the ball in the back of the net.

17.19

It was at Napoli that Maradona was most revered during his club career, having joined the Italian outfit from Barcelona following a relatively unhappy two years in Spain.

The attacker is still regarded as close to a God in Naples, having identified with the city and the people more so than perhaps even in Boca Juniors. The love for him there was so strong that many Napoli fans even cheered Maradona's Argentina side on against Italy when a World Cup clash between the two nations was held in Naples in 1990.

17.16

One of Maradona's most famous former clubs has shared their condolences. Maradona's spell at Barcelona was not quite as successful as both parties had hoped when he made his world-record move to Camp Nou in 1982, due largely to injury, but he still dazzled at times.

17.14

If you're just joining us, Diego Maradona has tragically passed away from a heart attack at his home in Argentina at the age of just 60. You can find the full story here.

17.12

Rarely does a player come along who is so good that even his pre-match warm-up can make you sit up and take notice of his genius, but this one from Maradona is simply unforgettable.

17.09

Tributes continue to flood in from clubs big and small...

17.06

The Argentine president Alberto Fernandez has declared three days of national mourning after this tragic news today.

Argentina is lucky enough to be able to boast at least two players in the conversation of the greatest of all time - Maradona and Lionel Messi - but not even Messi has commanded the same love from his compatriots as Maradona, who played a significant chunk of his club football in the country and, perhaps most crucially of all, led them to glory at the 1986 World Cup.

Diego Maradona scores against England on June 22, 1986© Reuters

17.04

And for those who may not have been lucky enough to glimpse his genius before, here is that aforementioned 'Goal of the Century' against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final.

17.01

Football clubs, players, former players and fans around the world have been paying tribute to the former Napoli and Barcelona man.

16.57

That quarter-final, more than any other, summed up the two sides of Maradona.

The 1986 World Cup saw the legendary number 10 at the very peak of his powers, but even then controversy was not far away. Maradona opened the scoring in that match with the most infamous goal in football history, using his hand to punch the ball past Peter Shilton in an outrageous move which was somehow not spotted by the officials and later came to be known as the 'Hand of God'.

Not long afterwards, Maradona left a string of players in his wake en route to scoring a goal many regard to be as the greatest in football history.

16.55

Unsurprisingly considering such a legendary standing in the game, the tributes have been quick to flood in for Maradona - a troubled genius but a genius nonetheless. Gary Lineker has always spoken very highly of him and was on the pitch for Maradona's most notorious match of all - the 1986 World Cup quarter-final against England.

16.53

The football world has been rocked by the news that Diego Armando Maradona, considered by most to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, has died in his home after suffering a heart attack at the age of 60.

Rest in peace, Maradona.

16.30

Argentina's 1986 World Cup-winning captain Diego Maradona has reportedly died after suffering a heart attack at his home.

The 60-year-old is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to have ever played the game, often vying with the likes of Pele, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the conversation regarding the best footballers of all time.

Reports emerged from Argentina on Wednesday afternoon that the legendary forward had died after suffering a heart attack in his home in Tigre.

Maradona enjoyed an illustrious career which saw him turn out for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys, with his most famous spell coming at Napoli as he helped the then-unfashionable Italian outfit to two Serie A titles.

The attacker's greatest achievements came with Argentina, though, as he led his country to glory at the 1986 World Cup, scoring the 'Hand of God' and 'Goal of the Century' in one game against England along the way.

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Argentina's Diego Maradona lifts the World Cup trophy after helping his team to the 1986 title
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