The body of globally renowned football legend, Diego Maradona’s arrived at the presidential palace in Argentina today for lying in state.
This is as a grieving country prepares to pay its last respects to the flawed football genius who died of a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 60, according to Daily Mail UK.
As a crowd of weeping fans gathered outside, Maradona’s coffin was lifted out of an ambulance and brought into the palace where it will lie in state in a three-day spectacle of national mourning.
Diego Maradona’s coffin is lifted out of an ambulance and taken into the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires in the early hours of this morning after the football legend died on Wednesday at the age of 60
Others gathered outside the Buenos Aires stadium where Maradona began his career and which has since been renamed in his honour, setting up a makeshift shrine to celebrate Argentina’s legendary number 10.
His death has also been keenly felt in Europe, especially in Naples where he steered an unfashionable side to two Italian league titles and where fans let off flares in tribute outside the stadium last night.
In Britain, where he is best remembered for his ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in 1986 – an act of brazen cheating followed only minutes later by one of the greatest goals in football history – a minute’s silence took place ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League match on Wednesday night.
A fan wearing an Argentina number 10 shirt in tribute to Maradona cries at a gathering outside the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Buenos Aires where the football legend began his career as a young player
Regarded by some as the greatest player of all time, Maradona combined awesome footballing ability with a flair for showmanship and a turbulent personal life marked by drug and alcohol problems.
An autopsy report leaked to Argentine media said he died in his sleep after suffering heart failure, only two weeks after leaving hospital following surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain.
A crowd of fans – some of them wearing the colours of Argentinian team Boca Juniors where Maradona played for part of his career – gather near the presidential palace last night ahead of Maradona’s wake
Medics also detected dilated cardiomyopathy, a medical condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
His nephew Johnny Esposito was the last person to see him alive, according to the report, before doctors with an appointment to see him went to his estate on Wednesday and found him unresponsive.
Mourners sit in contemplation next to a shrine in Buenos Aires where candles were lit and football shirts left in tribute
Three days of mourning have been declared by the Argentinian president Alberto Fernandez.
‘You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all,’ the leader tweeted. ‘Thanks for having existed, Diego. We will miss you for a lifetime.’
Grieving fans let off flares at the Argentinos Juniors stadium where Maradona began his professional career in the 1970s
Maradona is survived by five children, including his daughters Dalma, 33, and Ganina, 31, by his first and only wife Claudia Villafane, 58, to whom he was married from 1984 to 2004.
Source: Daily Mail UK