Buenos Aires, Argentina – The world will on Thursday mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Diego Maradona, regarded by some as the best player of all time and a man adored in his home country Argentina despite, or perhaps because of, his human flaws.
Argentine club matches are to mark a minute of silence and players will arrange themselves in a « 10 » formation on the pitch to honour Maradona’s famous jersey number, while special masses will be held — including in the Buenos Aires slum where Maradona grew up, to mark the day he passed away.
In Naples, where he spent part of his career, two statues for the striker are set to be unveiled.
Maradona died of a heart attack last November at the age of 60, weeks after undergoing brain surgery for a blood clot.
He may be dead, but in Argentina Maradona is everywhere.
From ubiquitous mural frescos that portray him as a deity to television series about his life and even a religion bearing his name.
His rags-to-riches story, stellar sporting achievements, complicated life and dramatic death entrenched his place in the Argentine psyche.
In the cities, Maradona’s name is memorialised in countless graffiti: « Diego lives, » « 10 Eternal » and « D10S » — a play of words with the Spanish word for god, « Dios », and Maradona’s famous jersey number.
His two goals in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals, which saw Argentina triumph over England just four years after the Falklands War, made Maradona an instant hero.
Source: Jamaican Observer – AFP
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