'The greatest of all time' - Tributes pour in from across football world as Diego Maradona passes away
Tributes from across the footballing world have poured in as the those associated with the game react to the passing of Diego Maradona.
The Argentine legend is understood to have died following a cardiac arrest at the age of 60.
Maradona had been hospitalised earlier this month, and had undergone successful surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain.
The former Barcelona and Napoli talent is regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time, and captained his country to World Cup glory in 1986 before leading them to the final again four years later.
He retired from playing in 1997, on his 37th birthday, during his second stint at Argentine giants Boca Juniors.
Maradona also served as Argentina head coach for a time, and took charge during the 2010 World Cup, where his side were beaten by Germany in the quarter-finals.
In the aftermath of the tragic news, Gary Lineker tweeted: “By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God.”
England striker Marcus Rashford tweeted: “Legendary” followed by a broken heart emoji.
Napoli’s official account tweeted: “Forever. Ciao Diego”.
Ossie Ardiles tweeted: “Thank you dear Dieguito for your friendship, for your football, sublime, without comparison. Simply, the best football player in the history of football. So many enjoyable moments together. Impossible to say which one was the best. RIP my dear friend.”
Brazilian legend Pele said: “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”.
Former Celtic striker John Hartson tweeted: “Diego Maradona dead at 60! Such a shame… the greatest ever in my humble opinion”.
Boca Juniors tweeted: “Eternal thanks. Eternal Diego”.
The official account of Johan Cruyff, who passed away in 2016,tweeted: “Rest in Peace, Diego Armando Maradona. You are eternal”.
Former England striker Michael Owen tweeted: “Quite simply a player like no other. Rest in Peace”.
Sky pundit Jamie Carragher tweeted: “I’ll never forget watching Diego Maradona as an 8-year-old at the World Cup in Mexico. Never seen anything like it on that stage since. Sad news”.
Peter Reid, who played against Maradona in the 1986 World Cup quarter final for England, tweeted: “RIP Maradona”.
Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo tweeted: “The god of football goes away… thanks for everything Diego”.
Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani tweeted: “GOAT. Rest in peace Diego, always grateful for the joy and emotions I lived watching you playing football”.
Rio Ferdinand tweeted: “My first football hero. Few people have impact over generations like this man did. The greatest, the best, the artist, the man...charismatic, a leader… A WINNER! One of the main reasons why I went out on my estate to kick a ball, pretending to be Diego.”