Diego Maradona death – Heartbroken fans line streets as footie legend’s coffin is taken to his funeral

DIEGO Maradona died on Wednesday from a heart attack at the age of 60 just hours after telling his family he was feeling unwell.

His heartbroken fans lined Buenos Aires streets on Thursday as his coffin was taken out from the Casa Rosada government house to be laid to rest in the outskirts of the city, where his parents are also buried.

The Argentinian football star passed away at his home in Buenos Aires two weeks after being released from hospital for a bleed on his brain.

According to reports, Maradona came down for breakfast on Wednesday morning looking pale and complaining about feeling cold. He told his nephew that he felt sick before returning to bed.

Shortly before midday a nurse went to check on him but was unable to rouse him. Paramedics were called but Maradona died before they arrived.

Three days of mourning have now been declared in Argentina, where President Alberto Fernandez said "You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all."

Follow our live blog below for the latest news and updates on Maradona's death

  • Samantha Lock

    COFFIN DRIVEN TO FUNERAL AS MOURNERS LINE STREETS

    Mourners have lined the streets as Diego Maradona's coffin is driven to the football legend's funeral in Buenos Aires on Thursday.

    Grieving supporters cried as the hearse carrying the former forward drove past them today in Buenos Aires.

    Maradona was laid to rest next to his parents Dalma and Diego at the Jardin de Paz cemetery.

    A small group of family and friends carried his casket with the flag of Argentina draped over it into the the cemetery.

    About a dozen people were gathered for the private religious ceremony and burial.

    His body was meant to lie in state for three days at the presidential palace after Argentina's president Alberto Fernandez declared three days of mourning for Maradona.

  • Samantha Lock

    MORE PATERNITY CLAIMS

    In the wake of a reunion with Diego Jr and Jana, more women came forward with paternity claims against Maradona.

    In March 2019, he accepted paternity of three Cuban children, reportedly from two mothers, although their identities remain a secret.

    Maradona had spent many months in Havana between 2000 and 2005 while undergoing treatment for a cocaine habit, even befriending then-President Fidel Castro during his time in the country.

    Maradona later got a tattoo of Castro's face on his leg.

    At least three other women have come forward claiming Maradona to be the father of their children, but he did not publicly confirm they were his before his death.

    His youngest child, Diego Fernando, is just seven, and was born in 2013.

    Maradona had been dating his mother, Veronica Ojeda, before dumping her when she was four months pregnant for Rocio Oliva, 30 years his junior.

  • Samantha Lock

    CHILDREN & LOVE CHILDREN

    While two of his children, daughters Dalma and Giannina, were with his first wife Claudia Villafane, Diego has at least three other kids – with unconfirmed rumours of more.

    In 2016, after nearly 30 years of denying paternity, Diego finally recognised Diego Jr Sinagra as his son.

    He had been born in September 1986 after Diego's affair with model Cristina Sinagra while he played for Napoli.

    Despite years of campaigning from his mum – and even rumours that the Pope had got involved – Diego refused to accept he was the father, despite an Italian court proclaiming him as the father as early as 1995.

    He finally had a change of heart after another love child, Jana, got to know him by secretly meeting with him at a gym he attended in Buenos Aires.

    Maradona had fathered Jana, now a lingerie model, after a brief fling with nightclub worker Valeria Sabalain while still married to Claudia Villafane.

    Diego Jr, who had a career as a lower league footballer in Italy, publicly posed for pictures with Diego after a family reunion.

    Maradona Sr said: “I'm very happy because I've been reunited with my son.

    “I've been reunited with him as I was reunited with Jana.

    “I love him a lot and he's very like me.”

  • Samantha Lock

    FORMER LOVER CLAIMS SHE WAS BANNED FROM WAKE

    Maradona's former lover Rocio Oliva has spoken in tears claiming she was banned from the wake by his ex-wife Claudia Villafane.

    Oliva called the ban 'a disgrace' in an emotional interview outside the doors of Argentina’s equivalent of the White House.

    She claimed she had been excluded from a list of the retired footballer’s closest family and friends already inside the Casa Rosada and told to queue with the rest of the public.

    Oliva spent six years with the recovering drug addict and came close to marrying him before their split at the end of 2018.

    As she fought back tears after being turned away before the public were allowed in to see Diego in his coffin, she said: “The decision on who gets in depends on Claudia.

    “I don’t know why they’re doing this to me. All I wanted to do was say goodbye to Diego.

    “I was his last partner. I have as much right as anyone else to say goodbye to him.

    “They should think a bit more about Diego who’s dead now.”

    In a menacing emotional last comment before she left, she said: “God sees everything and they are going to pay for this.”

  • Samantha Lock

    WHO WAS MARADONA'S FIRST WIFE?

    Maradona met his wife Claudia Villafane when she was 17 and he 19.

    They married after a long engagement in 1989 and were wed 25 years, but the pair endured a turbulent relationship over three decades.

    Maradona has two children with Claudia, who has been a film producer, reality TV star and actress in her career.

    However, their marriage was fraught with rumours of Diego's infidelity.

    The couple divorced in 2004, but continued to be seen together in the years that followed, including at the 2006 World Cup.

    The pair then drifted apart but made more headlines together in 2018, when Maradona sued Claudia for allegedly stealing his money and using it to buy apartments in Florida.

  • Hana Carter

    MARADONA WAS 'MESMERISING' SAYS HENRY

    Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry wrote on Instagram: “It was like yesterday, being old enough to watch my first World Cup that I can remember (1986). He was mesmerising. It was his World Cup.

    “There were so many more memories. It was an honour and privilege to watch and then meet one of the greatest footballers to have ever played the game.

    “My thoughts are with all his family, friends and many admirers. RIP

  • Samantha Lock

    FOOTBALL BROTHERS

    Two of Maradona's brothers also became professional footballers, although not with anywhere near the same level of success as Argentina's No10.

    Raul, known as Lalo, had a brief stint with Boca Juniors and Spanish club Granada before spending much of his career in the US.

    Hugo, known as El Turco, played in Spain with Rayo Vallecano and in Austria with Rapid Vienna, before becoming a cult hero with numerous clubs in Japan.

    Neither played at international level.

  • Samantha Lock

    MARADONA'S PARENTS & HIS TURBULENT FAMILY LIFE

    Argentina's favourite son, who has battled alcohol and drug addiction and obesity, leaves behind a complicated personal and familial legacy.

    Born to a devout Catholic family, Maradona grew up in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown just south of capital Buenos Aries.

    His father, affectionately known as Don Diego, was a factory worker who once refused to let his son attend trials for Argentinos Juniors because there was not enough money in the sport.

    His mother, Dona Tota, was a homemaker who raised eight children – Diego was the oldest – and is known as being the biggest influence and a calming presence on her most famous child.

    In fact, when Dona Tota died in 2011 it was national news in Argentina, with the country's biggest newspapers and TV stations running obituaries.

    According to football folklore she had wanted Diego to become an accountant.

    Maradona talks reverently about her in his autobiography, describing how she would skip meals and pretend to be ill just to be able to feed her kids.

  • Samantha Lock

    MARADONA'S WILL REMAINS UNCLEAR

    It was not immediately clear last night who the former Barcelona and Napoli star had included in his will.

    In November last year Diego threatened to leave nothing to his children after being forced to deny he was dying.

    In a video filmed from what appeared to be his home in Argentina Maradona, who has battled drink and drug addictions as well as weight problems, he fumed about the situation.

    He said: “I want to tell you that I’m not dying at all, that I sleep peacefully because I’m working.”

    “What I do know is that as you get older, people worry more about what you’re going to leave than what you’re doing.

    “I tell you all that I’m not going to leave anything, that I am going to donate it.

    “I’m not going to give away everything I earned by running during my life, I’m going to donate it.”

  • Samantha Lock

    FUNERAL WORKER SACKED FOR TAKING SELFIE NEXT TO COFFIN

    A FUNERAL parlour worker has been sacked after taking a selfie by the open coffin of Diego Maradona.

    The sick photo showing him doing the thumbs-up by the football legend’s body started circulating on social media this afternoon.

    Argentina's president Alberto Fernandez has decreed three days of mourning after the death of the legendary player of a suspected heart attack aged 60.

    Maradona's body lay in a wooden coffin with the blue and white national flag and an Argentina shirt with his famous number 10 in the Casa Rosada presidential palace in the capital Buenos Aires.

    But earlier a funeral parlour employee, understood to have been one of the men tasked with preparing Maradona’s body, took a selfie of himself with open casket.

    The owner of the funeral parlour, a firm called Sepelios Pinier, confirmed to local media the worker has now been sacked.

  • Samantha Lock

  • Samantha Lock

    FEUD BETWEEN MARADONA'S 5 KIDS & '6 LOVE CHILDREN' OVER ESTATE

    DIEGO Maradona’s death could spark a family feud over his estate between the five kids he recognised and his six suspected love children.

    Not long before he died, one of his daughters even joked the Argentine could make up a football team's full starting eleven with his brood.

    Maradona recognised two sons and three daughters including his ex-wife Claudia Villafane and former long-term partner Veronica Ojeda as his own.

    The star accepted his two daughters with ex-wife Claudia Villafane – Dalma and Gianinna – along with his son Diego Fernando who he had with girlfriend Veronica Ojeda.

    He also had flings with bar worker Valeria Sablalin, who gave birth to daughter Jana Maradona, and Italian woman Cristinia Sinagra, with whom he had son Diego Sinagra.

    However, Maradona is alleged to have at least six other children from various flings and some have previously appealed for their dad's love.

    Santiago Lara and Magali Gil both made appeals in the media to the football legend, and both are said to have been trying to get a DNA test before he died.

    And the star is alleged to have fathered up to four children while he was living in Cuba, three of whom have been named as Joana, Lu and Javielito.

    His family now risk going to war as they face the complicated task of carving up his estate, especially after the star threatened his children would get nothing after his death.

  • Jon Rogers

    'WE'VE LOST AN IDOL' SAYS BIELSA

    Former Argentina national team manager Marcelo Bielsa has said we've lost an “idol” following the death of Diego Maradona.

    He inspired his country to World Cup glory in 1986, and also helped Napoli win the Italian league title in 1987 and 1990.

    Leeds manager Bielsa mourned the death of a sportsman who is considered a national hero in his country.

    “He was for us, and will continue to be, an idol,” Bielsa, who managed the Argentina national side from 1998 to 2004, said.

    “Given the fact he is not with us any more brings great sadness. We have lost an idol and it makes us feel weak.

    “What really stood out was his relationship with the public. Everything he did as a footballer was of a beauty which cannot be matched.

    “Maradona was an artist. Players with such individual brilliance – they don't know what it is to play with pressure.”

  • Jon Rogers

    MARADONA'S 'HAND OF GOD' SHIRT HELD IN MANCHESTER MUSEUM

    The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he 'scored' his infamous 'hand of God' goal against England is on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

    It was loaned to them for exhibitions in 2003 by former England midfielder Steve Hodge, who swapped shirts with Maradona after the 'Hand of God' World Cup quarter-final in Mexico City 34 years ago.

    “To have a Diego Maradona shirt on display would be amazing in itself but to have 'the' shirt, the one he wore on June 22, 1986 and scored those two goals, for us, is absolutely phenomenal,” Dickie Felton, spokesperson for the National Football Museum, said.

    “Our visitors, they love it. It provokes so many talking points because it is 'the' shirt and it provokes so many memories of people watching the game all those years ago.

    “We were very lucky and fortunate in that Steve Hodge loaned us this remarkable piece of football history. So many thousands of visitors have seen it over the years. It is an astonishing artefact.

  • Jon Rogers

    FIFA SHOULD RETIRE NO. 10 SHIRT TO HONOUR MARADONA

    Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas has said FIFA should retire the No 10 jersey from all clubs in honour of Diego Maradona.

    The Argentina star, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all-time, died on Wednesday following a heart attack.

    Following Marseille's 2-0 defeat to Porto in the Champions League, Villas-Boas said: “Maradona, yes it is tough news, I would like FIFA to retire the No. 10 shirt in all competitions, for all teams.

    “It would be the best homage we could do for him. He is an incredible loss for the world of football.”

  • Claudia Aoraha

    1 MILLION PEOPLE EXPECTED AT MARADONA'S CASKET IN ARGENTINA

    Thousands of fans are paying their final respects to Argentine football legend Diego Maradona at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires.

    Three days of national mourning have begun in Argentina after the national hero died following a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 60.

    Some wept, others blew kisses and said prayers as they filed past the coffin being displayed at the Casa Rosada.

    A million people are expected to visit his casket.

  • Claudia Aoraha

    FANS PROCESS THROUGH THE STREETS

    Fans make a line pass in front of Maradona's coffin at Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  • Jon Rogers

    PLATINI CALLS MARADONA 'THE GREATEST FOOTBALL LOVER'

    France great Michel Platini, one of Diego Maradona's fiercest rivals in the Italian league during the 1980s, called him “the greatest football lover there was.”

    In a message to The Associated Press on Thursday, Platini added Maradona was a child king. “He was a bit excessive in all things, but the most important thing is that he was excessive on the pitch and it was beautiful.”

    Platini, who is 65, and Maradona played against each other at club level at a time when the Italian league was arguably the best in the world. Maradona arrived at Napoli in 1984, two years after Platini signed with Juventus.

    Maradona, who scored 115 goals for Napoli in 259 matches, helped the club challenge Juventus' supremacy, winning its first two Serie A titles and the 1989 UEFA Cup.

    Platini won two Italian leagues and the 1985 European Cup with Juventus. In his last season there, he was runner-up to Maradona when Napoli won its first Serie A in 1987.

  • Jon Rogers

    CLASHES BETWEEN FANS AND COPS CONTINUE

    Frustrated fans have continued to clash with cops as thousands of people lined up to pay their respects to the star.

    Fans threw bottles and metal fences at police near the Casa Rosada in the heart of Buenos Aires.

    The first to bid farewell were his daughters and close family members. Then came former teammates of the 1986 World Cup-winning squad including Oscar Ruggeri.

    The first fan to visit was Nahuel de Lima, using crutches to move because of a disability. At the same time, a wave of people tried to get ahead and confronted police, who used tear gas to contain them.

    Bodyguards were stopping fans from taking pictures and controlling access to the building. Many fans were breaking down as soon as they left.

  • Jon Rogers

    FIRST PICTURE OF MARADONA'S COFFIN

    Maradona's body lay in a wooden coffin with the blue and white national flag and an Argentina soccer jersey with the number 10 that had been part of his nickname “D10S” – a play on “dios”, the Spanish word for God.

    His body is currently lying in state at the Casa Rosada presidential palace draped in an Argentine flag and his famous no. 10 shirt, as part of three days of mourning.

  • Jon Rogers

    INDIAN FANS GATHER TO HONOUR MARADONA

    Fans of Maradona in India have paid homage to their footballing hero.

    Hundreds of fans gathered in Kolkata.

    The 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, which Maradona helped the Argentine team lift, was the first World Cup to be live telecast in India and his feats on the pitch won him a legion of supporters.

    Maradona made people fall in love with Argentina,” said Samudra Bose, who was among the hundreds that gathered in Kolkata to pay respects.

    “Before Maradona and the 1986 World Cup people were mostly fans of Brazil, but Maradona after the 1986 World Cup divided Kolkata in two halves.”

    Maradona visited Kolkata twice and his connection with the city was cemented in 2017 when he personally unveiled a statue of himself holding the World Cup, in the presence of thousands of fans.

  • Jon Rogers

    ARGENTINES BID FAREWELL TO MARADONA

    Argentines lined up in the streets of Buenos Aires on Thursday to say goodbye to soccer great Diego Maradona, whose casket lay in state at the Casa Rosada presidential palace draped in an Argentine flag and his famous no. 10 shirt.

    Maradona, Argentina's favorite son whose life was marred by struggles with addiction, died aged 60 following a heart attack at home on Wednesday. Huge crowds are expected to pay their respects as part of three days of national mourning.

    Early on Thursday, thousands were already forming a snaking line through the streets near the central Plaza de Mayo after a night of mourning and reminiscing. Some scuffles broke out as fans tried to get inside the palace to see their hero.

    Maradona's body lay in a wooden coffin with the blue and white national flag and an Argentina soccer jersey with the number 10 that had been part of his nickname “D10S” – a play on “dios”, the Spanish word for God.

    Fans held back by a barrier threw things towards the casket, including soccer shirts, as they tried to get near the player, who had become a hero in Argentina and beyond both on and off the pitch despite his well-documented flaws.

    “He was someone who touched the sky with his hands but never took his feet off the ground,” President Alberto Fernandez said on Wednesday.

  • Jon Rogers

    SHILTON REMEMBERS THE 'HAND OF GOD' GOAL

    Peter Shilton, the England goalkeeper beaten by Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final, shared his memories of that game.

    “For me as a goalkeeper there didn't seem to be any danger,” he told Sky Sports News.

    “He would have been offside but one of our own players, Steve Hodge, was put off balance, so he was trying to clear it and hooked it back.

    “I had a split-second decision to make – do I stay on my line and let the world's greatest player have an opportunity from 10 yards out or can I get there? I felt I could just get there, it was an instinct thing, but I was always second-best, I was always trying to catch up.

    “I was diving a little bit flat. I knew I was going to get the ball, I think Maradona said in an interview the reason he punched it in with his hand was because he could see I was getting above him, and he couldn't head it.

    “He took a chance, it ended up in the back of the net and then he ran off to celebrate. You're looking around waiting for the referee to blow his whistle as we did, and of course the rest is history.”

  • Jon Rogers

    ANDY MURRAY SHARES MEMORY OF MARADONA

    Andy Murray has shared the memory of his meeting with Maradona.

    He wrote on Instagram: “I was lucky enough to meet Maradona once at the 02 arena. He had come to watch the tennis there. He spoke to me for a couple of minutes in Spanish with unbelievable energy, passion and expression.

    “Unfortunately I barely understood a word but that didn't seem to matter. He was diminutive in size but clearly a larger than life character/personality with a tonne of charisma.

    “The following day I was given a signed Argentina (shirt) which he left for me that you can see in the 2nd picture which reads..'To my friend Andy with all my love and hope that you soon become 1'

    “Numero uno were the only words I understood from our conversation.”

  • Jon Rogers

    COPS AND MARADONA FANS CLASH

    Diego Maradona fans and cops have clashed on the streets of Buenos Aires as the fans tried to enter the Government House to pay their respects.

    Maradona's coffin arrived at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires for a period of lying in state, TV reports showed, following the death of the Argentine football legend aged 60 on November 25.

    Hundreds of people were already lining up to pay their respects to Maradona, who died while recovering from a brain operation.

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