The world on Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Diego Maradona, regarded by some as the best football player of all time and a man best known in his home country of Argentina despite his human flaws, or perhaps because of his is preferred.
Maradona died of a heart attack last November, at age 60, after weeks of brain surgery for a blood clot.
The former Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli star battled cocaine and alcohol addiction for years and was suffering from liver, kidney and heart disorders when he died.
His death shocked fans around the world, and thousands queued to file his coffin wrapped in the Argentine flag at the Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires during three days of national mourning.
He may be dead, but Maradona is everywhere in Argentina.
From the ubiquitous murals that depict him as a deity, to television series about his life and even a religion bearing his name.
His two goals in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal, in which Argentina won over England just four years after the Falklands War, made Maradona an instant hero.
In Naples, where Maradona is an icon like in Buenos Aires, a statue of him was unveiled outside the stadium in Napoli, which was turned into a tribute after his death.
On Thursday morning, Napoli’s President Aurelio De Laurentiis left flowers at the so-called ‘Largo Maradona’, an area of Naples’ famous ‘Spanish Quarter’ covered with murals in Argentina’s honor.
The club urged fans to arrive more than three hours before Sunday night’s match with Lazio so they could be present for an “intense” commemoration ceremony, while De Laurentiis said statues were placed inside Napoli’s stadium. will be kept.
Maradona’s tale of riches, illustrious sporting achievements, a complicated life and a dramatic death cemented his place in the Argentine psyche.
In cities, Maradona’s name is remembered in countless frescoes: “Diego Lives,” “10 Eternal” and “D10s” – a play of words with the Spanish word for god, “Dios”, and Maradona’s famous jersey. Number.
Murals in Buenos Aires depict him with angel wings, with a halo and scepter as a patron saint, or back to Earth, kissing the World Cup.
Maradona is perhaps remembered as much for his “Hand of God” goal – which was illegally out of his hand, which he attributed to supernatural interference – as his second in the same match against England. The match was for what would later become known as the “Goal of the God”. century”.
To historian Felipe Pigna, Maradona is a “hero with many flaws” – a mixed bag of qualities that represent “what it means to be an Argentine”.