Facts about Argentina football great Diego Maradona

Argentine football legend ?Diego Maradona [REUTERS/Michaela Rehle]

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona is dead.

According to reports in Argentina, the 60-year-old died after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Maradona was admitted to hospital on Tuesday, November 3, and underwent successful surgery to treat a subdural hematoma, a blood clot on the brain.

The operation was to address the clot which is often caused by a head injury resulting in increased pressure on the brain.

He left hospital on Wednesday, November 11 followed by a convoy of supporters.

Maradona did not speak to press and chanting fans gathered outside the Olivos clinic in Buenos Aires as he left by ambulance.

Here are some facts about Maradona:

* The fifth of eight children of a factory worker, Maradona was born on October 30, 1960, in a shantytown on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. He made his debut with the first-division soccer club Argentinos Juniors in 1976, days before turning 16.

* He led Argentina’s Boca Juniors to the league championship in 1982 and was transferred to Spain’s Barcelona for a record $3 million. He moved to Italy’s Napoli in 1984 and carried it to its only two championships in 1987 and 1990.

* Heralded as soccer’s leading player, Maradona scored the epic “Hand of God” goal as Argentina defeated England 2-1 in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals and led Argentina’s 3-2 victory over Germany in the World Cup final.

Maradona scored the epic “Hand of God” goal as Argentina defeated England 2-1 in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals [COURTESY]

* In 1991, he failed a doping test in Italy and was suspended for 15 months. He was also investigated over alleged Mafia ties and later arrested in Argentina for cocaine possession. He tested positive for drug use during the 1994 World Cup and was suspended from the tournament. He came back with Boca Juniors in 1995, but failed another drug test two years later before retiring.

* In 2000, Maradona was hospitalized in Uruguay with heart problems and tests revealed cocaine use. He underwent drug rehabilitation in Cuba. Appearing overweight, Maradona spent 10 days in 2004 in intensive care in Argentina with heart and breathing problems. He was confined to a psychiatric hospital, then returned to Cuba for more treatment.

Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - June 26, 2018 Diego Maradona in the stands [REUTERS/Sergio Perez]

* Slimmer after a stomach-stapling operation, Maradona launched a successful TV talk show in Argentina in 2005 that lasted for one season.

The Hand of God. Another truly iconic image in World Cup history here, as Diego Maradona beats Peter Shilton to the ball and punches it into the net to give Argentina the lead against England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup. Maradona scored a quite magnificent second goal soon after, as Argentina claimed a 2-1 win [COURTESY]


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