Argentina Mourns Maradona As Thousands Pay Tribute At Lying-In-State

Fans gather to mourn the death of soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona, outside the Diego Armando Maradona stadium, in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 25, 2020. REUTERS/Magali Druscovich

SAN FRANCISCO, November 26, (THEWILL) – The body of late soccer legend, Diego Maradona arrived at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina early today for the lying-in-state, with thousands of grieving Argentines queueing to say the final goodbye.

Plunged into grief by the death of the country’s favourite son, a sublimely gifted sporting hero they saw as “the most human of gods”, Maradona- the football genius, died on Wednesday at the age of 60.

The news fell like a hammer blow to a nation beaten down by months of economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, but one where football is seen as a panacea for all ills.

On Thursday morning, thousands of mourners file past a barricade at the Presidential palace to say a final goodbye.

Others gathered outside the Buenos Aires stadium where Maradona began his career and which has since been renamed in his honour, setting up a makeshift shrine to celebrate Argentina’s legendary number 10.

His death has also been keenly felt in Europe, especially in Naples where he steered an unfashionable side to two Italian league titles and where fans let off flares in tribute outside the stadium last night.

Regarded by some as the greatest player of all time, Maradona combined awesome footballing ability with a flair for showmanship and a turbulent personal life marked by drug and alcohol problems.

An autopsy report leaked to Argentine media said he died in his sleep after suffering heart failure, only two weeks after leaving hospital following surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain.