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Diego Maradona Reportedly Taken to Hospital After Argentina's Win vs. Nigeria

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 26, 2018

Retired Argentina player Diego Maradona gestures ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018. (Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS        (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)
OLGA MALTSEVA/Getty Images

Argentina legend Diego Maradona was reportedly hospitalised after La Albiceleste scored late to beat Nigeria 2-1 on Tuesday and advance to the 2018 FIFA World Cup knockout stages. 

Maradona had been present for all three of Argentina's group games and was once again an animated figure at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, but the Guardian's Ed Aarons reported he was later sent to hospital:

Ed Aarons @ed_aarons

Reports that Maradona has been taken to hospital... https://t.co/TVZRmAqjbc

Twitter user Steve Spoiler posted footage of Maradona requiring assistance to leave the Luzhniki Stadium, via Sports Illustrated:

Sports Illustrated @SInow

Diego Maradona needed some assistance leaving the stadium after Argentina's win (via @SteveSpoiler) https://t.co/Mt80bLizhD

Marcos Rojo volleyed in an 86th-minute winner for his side after Victor Moses' penalty had cancelled out captain Lionel Messi's opener, meaning Argentina finished as Group D runners-up behind Croatia.

As good as the entertainment on the pitch was in Moscow, former national team manager Maradona continued his trend as something of a sideshow in the stands.

The 57-year-old prayed to the heavens when Messi netted a brilliant breakthrough, but Match of the Day's Gary Lineker took umbrage with his middle-finger gestures following Rojo's winner, per the Independent:

Indy Football @IndyFootball

Watch Diego Maradona's middle finger salute which caused Gary Lineker to call him a 'laughing stock': https://t.co/e0LMCGpzrV #WorldCup https://t.co/hJUk8i9LSv

Maradona has followed Argentina as they toiled in the group stage, with the team looking to replicate his success at the 1986 World Cup, where he led the team to their second of two world titles.

The Argentina icon was previously hospitalised as recently as the beginning of June, just prior to the World Cup, although that was reported to have been due to knee problems, per the Mirror's Alex Cope.

Maradona's struggles to depart the stadium on Tuesday were a concern after he had appeared so lively during his side's win only to suddenly drop after the full-time whistle.

The football community will be hoping one of the most well-remembered World Cup stars is back on his feet soon, with Argentina next in action on Saturday, when they'll face Group C winners France at the Kazan Arena.