The sad news was confirmed a few hours ago. Diego Maradona has passed away, from a cardiac arrest at his home near Buenos Aires. The legend of the game had just celebrated his 60th birthday three weeks ago, though he had looked unwell at the time and soon after had to undergo surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain.
Tributes have been pouring in from all corners of the football world, including from Chelsea, who posted this classic clip from Chelsea TV about that time in 2007-08 when Maradona visited the Chelsea training ground in Cobham. Here he is sharing a laugh with the likes of head coach Avram Grant, Claude Makélélé, Andriy Shevchenko, Joe Cole, and his countryman, the young Franco Di Santo (who’s back in Argentina these days as well, playing for San Lorenzo at age 31).
When Diego Maradona visited the Blues at Cobham. pic.twitter.com/Zv9wolGmEr— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 25, 2020
Maradona, one of the greatest to ever play the game, if not the greatest (depending on who you ask) — and a great inspiration for one of our very own, Gianfranco Zola — had been working most recently as the head coach of Gimnasia de La Plata in the Argentinian first division, though he’s obviously more famous for his on pitch excellence as well as all the off-pitch drama.
If you haven’t seen it, the Diego Maradona documentary that came out last year is practically required viewing (directed by Asif Kapadia, who also did the most excellent Senna documentary, which should also be required viewing).