Argentina soccer legend Diego Maradona, widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest ever players, died of a heart attack on Wednesday, his lawyer said.
Maradona, 60, had recently battled health issues and underwent emergency surgery for a subdural haematoma several weeks ago.
He suffered a heart attack at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires on Wednesday, Argentinian media and acquaintances of the former player said.
Maradona won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986.
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez declared three days of national mourning after the news of Maradona’s death.
World soccer great Diego Armando Maradona, who died on Wednesday less than a month after his 60th birthday, was worshipped like a god for his genius with the ball, but his demons almost destroyed him.
Maradona had died after suffering a heart attack at his home in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, those close to him confirmed.
Rising to stardom from a grimy Buenos Aires slum to lead Argentina to World Cup victory, Maradona was a rags-to-riches story in his soccer-mad homeland and gained the iconic status of fellow Argentines Che Guevara and Evita Peron.
One of the most gifted soccer players in history, Maradona’s pinnacle of glory came when he captained Argentina to win the World Cup in 1986 before plunging to misery when he was kicked out the 1994 World Cup for doping.
Years of drug use, overeating and alcoholism truncated a stellar career and altered his appearance from the lithe athlete who could slalom effortlessly through teams to a bloated addict who nearly died of cocaine-induced heart failure in 2000.
Italian soccer club Napoli said on Wednesday the death of its former star Diego Armando Maradona was a “devastating blow” for both the city and the club.
“We are in mourning,” said club spokesman Nicola Lombardo. “We feel like a boxer who has been knocked out. We are in shock.” Maradona had achieved success at club level, most notably with Napoli, whom he led to their first Serie A title in 1987. A second followed in 1990, alongside an Italian Cup in 1987 and a Uefa Cup in 1991, and such was the player’s impact at a club which previously had lived in the shadow of Italy’s northern powerhouses, particularly Juventus, Milan and Internazionale, that Napoli announced in 2000 that they were retiring his No 10 shirt.