Remembering Diego Maradona: ‘The world has lost a legend’

Sports

Diego Maradona blows a kiss to fans in Cannes, France, on May 20, 2008. Diego Maradona has died. The Argentine soccer great was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity. He was 60. (Gian Mattia D’Alberto/LaPresse via AP)

Tributes to Argentina soccer great Diego Maradona, who died Wednesday at age 60:

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“A very sad day for all Argentinians and for football. He leaves us, but he is not gone because Diego is eternal. I stay with all the beautiful moments I lived with him and I wanted to send my condolences to his family and friends.” — Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

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“Sad news today. I have lost a dear friend, and the world has lost a legend. There is much more to say, but for now may God give his family strength. One day, I hope, we will play soccer together in the sky.” — Brazil great Pele.

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“Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius. One of the best ever. An unrivaled magician. He departs too soon, but leaves a legacy with no limits and an emptiness that will never be filled.” — Portugal and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

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“You will always be in our memory, you left your legacy. Soccer thanks you.” — Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar.

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“My friend is gone. Maradona, the legend! The Argentine that conquered the world with the ball at his feet, but also for his joy and unique personality. I said it sometimes, out of the players I have seen on the pitch he was the best.” — former Brazil forward Romario.

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“By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God.” — former England striker Gary Lineker.

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“I’m proud to have been able to experience him up close on the pitch. Diego Maradona won everything there is to win, as well as the hearts of everyone who loves the beauty of football.” — former West Germany forward Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

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“He had everything technically: Left foot, control, shooting, and he was also very lively. To avoid the assassins (on the field) in the 1970s and 80s you were better off being very, very lively, and he was a dribbler, too. He would dribble, dribble, dribble.” — former France great Michel Platini.

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“What Diego has done for football, for making all of us fall in love with this beautiful game, is unique. It is, as he is, simply immense. Diego deserves our eternal gratitude for that, for having amazed us with his incredible talent and yes, for having been so unique: for having been Diego Armando Maradona, a legend, a hero, and a man. Diego may be eternal now, but for forever, Diego will also have a most prominent place in the incredible story of all football fairy tales.” — FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

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“The world lost one of the greatest soccer players that ever lived Diego Maradona. It was one of the thrills of my life when I got to meet him.” — Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson.

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“Football and the world of sports has lost one of its greatest players today.” — India cricket great Sachin Tendulkar.

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