Pele, Messi lead tributes as football world mourns Diego Maradona
(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 22, 1986 Argentine football star Diego Maradona, wearing a diamond earring, balances a soccer ball on his head as he walks off the practice field following the national selection's practice session in Mexico City. Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona passed away on November 25, 2020.

Pele, Messi lead tributes as football world mourns Diego Maradona

Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - November 26, 2020 - 1:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — The death of Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) has plunged the international football community into mourning.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest to play "the beautiful game," Maradona died of cardiac arrest at the age of 60. He underwent brain surgery earlier this month.

Among those who led the way in paying tribute to the Argentine World Cup winning captain were Brazilian football great Pele and fellow Argentine Leo Messi.

"I have lost a great friend and the world lost a legend," Pele wrote on Twitter.

"There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to his family members. One day, I hope, we will play football together in heaven," the 80-year-old added.

Pele and Madarona were among those considered the greatest of all time in football.

Meanwhile, his compatriot Messi paid tribute to his former coach. Madarona managed the Argentine star on the national team from 2008 to 2010.


A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)

"It is a very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He is leaving us but he is not going, because Diego is eternal," wrote Messi on Instagram.

Messi's rival and Portugese star Cristiano Ronaldo also mourned the 60-year-old's passing.

"Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius. One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician," Ronaldo wrote on twitter.

Meanwhile, Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp joined players in expressing their sympathies.

"Diego was a sensational guy, Maradona had some struggles, let me say it like this. I will miss both," Klopp said speaking to BT Sport.

Even outside of the football world, Maradona's death was felt. Boxing legend Mike Tyson was one of the most prominent athletes outside of the sport to share their messages.

"The Hand of God, Maradona has left us. In 86, we both won our championships... He was one of my hero's [sic] and a friend. I respected him so much. He will be greatly missed," wrote Tyson on Twitter.

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