UPDATES WITH MORE DETAILS; ADDS BACKGROUND, CONDOLENCE MESSAGES OF FOOTBALL CLUBS; CHANGES DECK
By Emre Asikci
ISTANBUL (AA) - Argentine legend Diego Armando Maradona died Wednesday, according to local media outlet Clarin. He was 60.
Clarin said Maradona died after suffering cardiac arrest at home in Tigre, Argentina.
He underwent successful surgery Nov. 4 for a blood clot in his brain, and his doctor, Leopoldo Luque, said Maradona was awake and doing well but had "a little drainage" that doctors were planning to remove the following day. "He tolerated the surgery very well, he is lucid and awake and the time he stays in the hospital will depend on his evolution," the doctor added.
A subdural hematoma, where a blood clot is formed on the surface of the brain, is usually caused by a head injury, but the former football superstar did not remember any event that could have caused it.
The Argentine Football Association paid tribute to Maradona and said he would forever be a hero of the nation's football.
"The Argentine Football Association, through its President Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona,” it said on its website.
"Maradona was, is and will forever be a hero of our football. An emblem that knew how to bring the colors of the Argentine flag to every corner of the planet. Diego forever marked an era with his indescribable and unsurpassed talent. The soccer planet will remember you forever," it added.
- Sports world pays tribute to legend
Football clubs offered condolences via Twitter on hearing about Maradona's passing.
"The world awaits our words but there are no words to describe the pain we're going through. Now is the time to grieve," Napoli said.
"Your memory will live on forever... Rest in Peace Maradona," said Galatasaray.
Fenerbahce said: “One of the all time greats... Rest in Peace, Diego Armando Maradona,”
“We are deeply sorry to hear of the passing of Diego Maradona, one of the greatest to have ever played the beautiful game. Rest in peace, legend,” Besiktas said.
"FC Barcelona expresses its deepest condolences regarding the death of Diego Armando Maradona, a player for our club (1982-84) and an icon of world football. Rest in peace Diego," said Barcelona.
"A hero for an entire country and football itself. One of the greatest players to have graced the game of football, and we were lucky enough to enjoy you at Sevilla FC. Diego Armando Maradona, forever eternal. Rest in peace," Sevilla said.
- Winning 1986 World Cup
Maradona netted one of his iconic goals with his hand while playing against England in the 1986 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals but the referee was unable to see his trick.
"The hand of God" goal eliminated England 2-1 in Argentina’s march to the tournament glory.
Maradona, 25 at the time, was the team’s captain when he helped his nation win the 1986 World Cup.
Known for his pace, highly-skilled technique, and dribbling skills, he was a versatile player on the pitch who could play as an attacking midfielder and forward.
He played for Argentina in four World Cup tournaments -- Spain 82, Mexico 86, Italy 90, and the US 94.
He made 21 World Cup appearances, scoring eight goals and eight assists.
In addition to a World Cup victory, Maradona helped Argentina get as far as the final match in the 1990 World Cup, only to lose against West Germany.
He scored 34 goals in 90 international caps for Argentina.
Maradona played for Argentina's Boca Juniors, Spanish clubs Barcelona and Sevilla, and Italian club Napoli.
The Argentine national was a beloved Napoli player, winning two Italian Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990, as well as the 1989 UEFA Cup with Napoli.
He managed the Argentine national team during the 2010 World Cup but failed to advance in the knock out round.
Maradona's team was eliminated in the quarterfinals in a shocking 4-0 loss to Germany in South Africa.