Argentina president Alberto Fernandez has declared three days of mourning following the passing of footballing icon Diego Maradona.
The former Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors forward widely regarded as the greatest player to ever grace the game passed away on Thursday at the age of 60 after suffering a cardiac arrest. Maradona had undergone surgery for a blood clot on the brain just two weeks earlier.
The forward is an icon in the world of sport and is heralded as a footballing hero in his native Argentina after he inspired his country to glory at the 1986 World Cup. According to AS, Argentina has declared three days of official mourning
“I was working with [Santiago] Cafiero [the head of the cabinet] when they told me. I can’t believe it. I’m distraught. It’s the worst news an Argentina fan could receive. We loved him. I’m trying to talk to his family. We’ll see. There is so much sadness,” said Argentina’s president Fernandez.
“You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of them all. Thank you for having existed, Diego. We’re going to miss you all our lives.”
Casa Rosada the official resident of the president is to be made available for the family of Maradona so that a state funeral can be organised.
Maradona netted 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina between 1977 and 1994. He scored what is widely regarded as the greatest goal of all time for his country, embarking on a slaloming run from the half way line and slotting home against England at the 1986 World Cup.
The Argentinian’s club career spanned 21 years. He represented Argentinos Juniors, Sevilla, Boca Juniors, Newell’s Old Boys, Barcelona and Napoli establishing himself as one of the all-time greats with the latter and forming a deep-seated bond with the supporters and the city.