Football legend Diego Maradona laid to rest in Argentina’s capital

Diego Maradona has been laid to rest after thousands of fans lined the streets of Buenos Aires to pay their respects as his coffin was driven to the cemetery

Football legend Diego Maradona laid to rest in Argentina's capital
Pallbearers carry the casket of soccer legend Diego Maradona after a public viewing at the presidential palace Casa Rosada, in Buenos Aires

Diego Maradona has been buried in a private ceremony following a day of emotional scenes as huge crowds gathered to bid farewell to the footballing legend in Buenos Aires.

Only about two dozen relatives and close friends attended the ceremony in Argentina’s capital city on Thursday. Meanwhile, huge crowds turned out to pay their respects with many people seen weeping and praying as his coffin passed.

Maradona died of a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 60.

On a day of high emotion, the World Cup winner was taken by hearse late on Thursday to the Bella Vista cemetery on the outskirts of Buenos Aires for the small private ceremony.

Thousands of Argentines lined the roads as the procession passed on the hour-long journey from the presidential palace, where Maradona had lain in the state during the day.

Football legend Diego Maradona laid to rest in Argentina's capital
Thousands flooded the streets of Buenos Aires today to honour the footballer they worshipped as a demi-God

His death triggered mourning around the world.

In Italy, crowds tied hundreds of blue and white scarfs to the railings outside his former club Napoli, while in France, sports paper L’Equipe’s front page blared out: “God is dead”.

In Argentina, three days of national mourning were called for the player who led the country to a 1986 World Cup win and is revered with cult-like status.

Tens of thousands took to the streets despite fears over the coronavirus pandemic.

Some left flowers and messages at his childhood home.

During the day, Maradona’s body lay in state in a closed casket at the Casa Rosada presidential palace on the central Plaza de Mayo.

It was covered with the blue and white national flag and an Argentina football shirt with the number 10 that had been part of his nickname “D10S” – a play on “Dios”, the Spanish word for God.

Starting at dawn on Thursday, thousands of fans had formed a snaking line estimated at over a mile long through the streets of Buenos Aires near the plaza, after a night of mourning.

Fans who got inside the palace threw football shirts, flowers, and other items towards the casket.

Maradona’s body was later transferred to the cemetery, surrounded by a huge procession of police and others on motorbikes and cars.

In Naples, meanwhile, fans laid out flowers, children’s pictures, candles, and even a bottle of wine in a rapidly expanding, makeshift shrine.

Major athletes and world leaders, including Argentina-born Pope Francis, have paid their own tributes.

Madonna was beloved in his homeland after leading Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 and adored in Italy for taking Napoli to two Serie A titles.

Football legend Diego Maradona laid to rest in Argentina's capital
The coffin with the remains of late Argentine football legend Diego Armando Maradona is carried by his family and friends at the Jardin Bella Vista cemetery, in Buenos Aire

He rose from the tough streets of Buenos Aires to reach the pinnacle of his sport.

The 1986 World Cup included a quarter-final game against England where Maradona scored two of the tournament’s best-known goals ever – an illicit “Hand of God” goal and one that followed an incredible swerving, dribble.

Maradona also battled various health problems over the years as a result of his addictions.

Earlier this month, he was hospitalized for symptoms including anemia and dehydration and underwent emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma – a blood clot in the brain.

Who are Maradona’s recognised children and who are the rumoured offspring?

Recognised children:

  • Diego Junior, 34
  • Jana, 23
  • Dalma, 32
  • Gianinna, 30
  • Diego Fernando, seven

Rumoured offspring:

  • ‘The Cuban trio’ – Joana, Lu and Javielito
  • Magali Gil, 23
  • Santiago Lara, 19
Ericson Mangoli

Written by Ericson Mangoli

Ericson Mangoli is the founder of African Stand, based in Nairobi Kenya, Ericson leads a splendid group of correspondents, independent writers, investigators, analysts, and supporters from around the globe to run African Stand as a supervisor and the chief editor.

Ericson Mangoli's editorial experience ranges more than 5 years and covers all the sports news, and at times including business and venture, data innovation, legislative issues, strategy, basic freedoms, science detailing, and significantly more.

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