On the pitch, Diego Maradona was considered a god amongst men. Off of it, his rebelliousness and, at times, scandalous lifestyle caused his star to shine even brighter. Still, it was his skill with a ball at his feet that turned Maradona into an immortal icon for an entire generation of football fans.
The Argentine FIFA World Cup winner’s passing was confirmed yesterday, resulting in an outpouring of tributes that remember his arguably unrivaled brilliance.
Maradona had undergone an emergency operation for a subdermal hematoma at the beginning of the month and was released from the hospital on November 12 after a successful surgery. On November 25, Maradona suffered a heart attack in his home in Tigres, Buenos Aires.
For younger generations of sports fans struggling to understand Maradona’s impact on the world, the Houston Chronicle put it best: “To understand the gargantuan shadow Maradona casts over his football-mad homeland, one has to conjure up the athleticism of Michael Jordan, the power of Babe Ruth – and the human fallibility of Mike Tyson. Lump them together in a single barrel-chested man with shaggy black hair and you have El Diego, idol to the millions who call him D10S, a mashup of his playing number and the Spanish word for God.”
Below is a roundup of tributes from across the internet that only begin to scratch the surface of what Maradona meant to millions of people worldwide.