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Argentina Legend Diego Maradona in Recovery After Successful Brain Surgery

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2020

Former soccer great Diego Maradona waves to fans next to a small, generic replica of a FIFA World Cup soccer trophy at the Casa Rosada government house after his meeting with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. Decades ago, Maradona held up his team's real trophy at this spot on the balcony after winning the World Cup in Mexico in 1986.  (AP Photo/Marcos Brindicci)
Marcos Brindicci/Associated Press

World football legend Diego Maradona is recovering Tuesday evening after undergoing successful surgery to remove a subdural hematoma from his brain, according to ESPN.

"I was able to evacuate the hematoma successfully and Diego tolerated the surgery very well," Leopoldo Luque, his neurosurgeon and personal physician, said Tuesday night. "... Diego is under control. He has a small drain [to remove fluid] that we are planning to take out tomorrow. His stay at the hospital will depend on his evolution. But the start of his recovery was great. The way he reacted after the surgery is promising."

Maradona, 60, was hospitalized Monday night with dehydration, depression and anemia. An MRI later detected that the Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata manager (Argentina's first division) had a subdural hematoma, a collection of blood on the surface of the brain.

The soccer legend led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, one of its two triumphs in the competition (1978). Only England's Gary Lineker score more goals (six) in the tournament than Maradona's five, which included two against England in the quarterfinals.

One of those was the controversial "Hand of God," when Maradona got away with a clear handball. Four minutes later, he'd scored one of the greatest goals in the history of the competition, dribbling across half the field and through a handful of England's team before slotting into the net.

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He also had a successful club career, winning two Serie A titles with Napoli. In his later years, Maradona has made numerous stops as a manager, which included a stint in charge of the Argentina national team.

He has also had health concerns in recent years, including internal bleeding in the stomach in 2019. Per ESPN, "In 2004, he was hospitalised with severe heart and respiratory problems related to a long battle with drug addiction. He has undergone two gastric bypass operations to control his weight and also received treatment for alcohol abuse."

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