Moving tributes to Diego Maradona as the world mourns a footballing icon

The world of football is in mourning after the death of icon Diego Maradona at the age of 60 from a heart attack.

Front pages from across the globe paid tribute to the sporting legend yesterday, a day after he passed away in Buenos Aires. From Europe to the USA, India to Malaysia, Nigeria and – of course- throughout his native South America, photos of Maradona’s face were inked across newspaper pages both front and back.

‘God is dead,’ declared France’s L’Equipe – far from the only publication to compare the 5ft 4ins Argentine to the Almighty.

Spain’s Marca newspaper also ran with a touching quote of Maradona’s which read: ‘If I am reborn, I want to be a footballer. And I want to be Diego Armando Maradona again. I am a player who has made people happy, and that is enough for me.’

Maradona’s touch, speed and poise was a fabulous combination on the pitch and propelled him from the slums of Buenos Aires to fame throughout the world.

A lucky few got to cheer him on – as he tore up the turf for Argentina, Napoli, Barcelona and a handful of other clubs. Many more watched in nervous horror as he ran rings around their defence, knowing and silently admiring all that he was capable of.

At his best he was simply unplayable, possessing a set of skills that earned him admirers around the world during his career.

And he would be introduced to later generations through his notoriety off the pitch, amid very public battles with drug and alcohol addiction, as well as obesity and trouble with the Mafia. But love admire or revile him, there was simply no ignoring him – and it was that star quality that was on display Thursday as the paper tributes poured in.

Italian papers mainly lead with pictures of him in the blue and white shirt of his country, despite his many years playing in the country for Napoli.

La Gazzetta dello Sport, with a picture of Maradona kissing the iconic World Cup trophy in 86, say: ‘I saw Maradona’.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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