Argentina’s football greats on Friday kicked off a day of World Cup tributes to the ‘immortal’ Diego Maradona on the second anniversary of his death.
Fans unfurled Maradona’s flag on Doha’s shores and joined former players like Argentina World Cup winner Mario Kempes and Alberto Tarantini for the South American Confederation (CONMEBOL) ceremony.
Maradona died of a heart attack on November 25, 2020 at the age of 60, sending a wave of grief across the football world.
The Argentinian has made four World Cup appearances and lifted the trophy in 1986 with a “Hand of God” goal against England, but was kicked out of the 1994 tournament after failing a drug test. rice field.
“His death is something Argentina never got over,” said Daniel Luque, who unfurled a flag with Maradona’s portrait on the World Cup countdown clock early Friday morning.
“He was a player and a phenomenon. His troubles made him even more of a national man. If he had stood for president, he would have won,” the 47-year-old added.
Some fans shouted “Viva Diego” as South American Union President Alejandro Dominguez and FIFA President Gianni Infantino delivered their tributes in the CONMEBOL Fanzone.
Both Dominguez and Infantino called Maradona “immortal”. FIFA bosses want a ceremony for their players at every World Cup.
“I’m Italian and I’m a fan of Inter, so I’m not Argentinian and I’m not from Naples. Diego made Inter cry many times. Italy too, but we love him,” said Infantino. Told.
Tarantini, a defender on the team that won the 1978 World Cup, said, “I hope God will play with him.
“We all remember him on the pitch, but off the pitch he was better,” Tarantini, 66, said at the ceremony.
Kempes, the 1978 attacking midfielder, described Maradona as a “superior” character who “made you unsettled in every sense of the word”.
“If I knew him, I thought he would do something, but he would have done the exact opposite. That’s genius.
Maradona fans planned the event later on Friday in Doha International Airport’s Fanzone dedicated to Argentina.