Tributes are pouring in following the death of football legend Diego Armando Maradona. The Argentinian legend passed away just two weeks after being released from hospital following treatment for a brain bleed.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, Maradona almost single-handedly led Argentina to their 1986 World Cup win.
But he had a long history of bad health, battles with addiction, and suffered extreme weight fluctuations over the past few decades.
Brazil legend Pele one of Maradona’s rivals in a post on Instagram said “I have lost a dear friend” and hopes to play “soccer together in the sky”.
“Sad news today. I have lost a dear friend, and the world has lost a legend. There is much more to say, but for now, may God give his family strength. One day, I hope, we will play soccer together in the sky.”
Barcelona magician Lionel Messi also joined many of his fellow professionals in paying tribute to Maradona. “A very sad day for all Argentines and for football,” he said.
“He leaves us but he isn’t going anywhere, because Diego is eternal,” Messi added.
Cristiano Ronaldo also took to Instagram and posted a glowing tribute to Diego Maradona describing him as an eternal genius.
“Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius.
“One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten,” Ronaldo said.
And former Bayern Munich winger and French international Franck Ribery described the loss of Diego Maradona as “terrible”.
He tweeted: “Terrible to hear about the loss of a true football legend. But legends NEVER die.
“God give you peace. Ciao Diego Maradona.”
Former England great, Rio Ferdinand posted this tribute to Diego Maradona.
“My 1st football hero. Very few people have impact over generations like this man did.
“The greatest, the best, the artist, a man… charismatic, a leader… A WINNER!
“One of my main reasons why I went out on my estate to kick a ball, pretending to be Diego.
“I knew the commentary to his goals ‘turns, the little squat man… leaves him for dead…
“Iconic footballer gone but will never be forgotten.
“RIP Diego Armando Maradona.”