The great man is no more

At the age of 60, Diego Maradona, one of the greatest players to have ever played the game of football, has sadly passed away. We mourn the death of the Argentine maestro along with the rest of the world, but there is little doubt that his legacy will live on, especially in Argentina.

Maradona was a footballing genius. Perhaps only a handful of players have ever changed or impacted the game as much as him. Among his many great achievements, Maradona's performance at the 1986 FIFA World Cup—leading Argentina to victory—will forever be remembered as one of the best moments in football history. While England fans still have nightmares of his famous "hand of God" goal during the Quarter Finals of that tournament, Maradona's second goal in that match, which saw Argentina through to the next round, was voted by FIFA as the greatest goal in the history of the World Cup.

But Maradona was not a one-trick pony. Even though he is best known globally for his performances for Argentina, the true extent of his greatness was apparent in the fact that Maradona almost singlehandedly led Napoli to their only two Serie A titles in the late 1980s—when the Italian league was considered to have the toughest defence in the world of football.

Always a charismatic character, Maradona also led his country as manager during the 2010 World Cup. Although he never quite achieved the same success in his managerial career that he had as a player, his Argentine side was praised for their entertaining football. And that is what he was, a true entertainer.

Some may look back and wonder what Maradona might have achieved if not for his off-the-pitch troubles and antics during his playing days. But as is often the case with so many of the greats, perhaps there can be no genius without a bit of madness. And when it comes to the "beautiful game", none perhaps typified it more fittingly and with the kind of grace as did Maradona.

Maradona will always remain Argentina's footballing god. But the rest of the world also will remember him as one of the most gifted and entertaining athletes to have graced any sporting field.

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