Diego Maradona, Iconic Argentinian World Cup Winner, Dies at Age 60

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2020

**  FILE  ** Argentina's Diego Maradona, holding up the trophy, is carried on shoulders as he celebrates at the end of the World Cup soccer final game against West Germany at the Atzeca Stadium, in Mexico City, in this June 29, 1986, file photo. Argentina won 3-2. Maradona and Argentinean coach Carlos Bilardo have been asked to lead Argentina by Julio Grondona, head of the Argentine Football Association, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008. (AP Photo/Carlo Fumagalli, file)
CARLO FUMAGALLI/Associated Press

World football legend Diego Maradona has died at the age of 60, the Argentine Football Association confirmed Wednesday.  

AFA @afa

La Asociación del Fútbol Argentino, a través de su Presidente Claudio Tapia, manifiesta su más profundo dolor por el fallecimiento de nuestra leyenda, Diego Armando Maradona. Siempre estarás en nuestros corazones 💙 https://t.co/xh6DdfCFed

An official cause of death has not been released.

Maradona was hospitalized on November 2 for dehydration and anemia, per Sky Sports. But a day later he was moved to Buenos Aires, where he went into surgery to remove a subdural hematoma, a collection of blood on the surface of the brain. The operation was described as a "routine surgery" by his physician, Leopoldo Luque.

"We are going to operate today," Luque said on November 3. "He is lucid, he understands, he agrees with the intervention."

The Associated Press' Almudena Calatrava and Debora Rey reported that doctors said Maradona came out of the surgery with no complications, and he left the hospital eight days later to recover at home. 

Maradona, who was the manager of Argentinian Primera Division club Gimnasia y Esgrima at the time of his death, is considered one of the greatest soccer players in the history of the sport. He led Argentina to a FIFA World Cup triumph in 1986, a run that included his infamous "Hand of God" goal against England in the quarterfinals, where he used his hand to score a goal.

In that same game, he dribbled through nearly the entirety of England's team before scoring what is considered one of the best goals in the history of the competition.

He scored 34 goals in 91 caps with Argentina, playing in four World Cups. And in 588 total appearances at the club level for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors (two stints), Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys, he scored 312 goals. He led Napoli to the club's first and only two Serie A titles.

Off the pitch, however, Maradona had issues with money and struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and he reportedly had contact with the Camorra, or the Neapolitan mafia, during his time at Napoli, per CNN's Ben Morse, Matias Grez and Cesar Lopez.

After his playing career, he served as the manager for Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, the Argentina national team, Al-Wasl, Fujairah, Dorados de Sinaloa and Gimnasia y Esgrima. None of those appointments lasted longer than three years.