In Pictures: One-Year anniversary of Diego Maradona’s death
In the hearts, on the walls and on the shirts: Maradona is still everywhere in Argentina and Naples, Italy.
Gustavo Emmanuel Parisi paints a mural depicting late football legend Diego Armando Maradona, on the first anniversary of his death, in Villa Fiorito, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 25, 2021. [Mariana Nedelcu/Reuters]
25 Nov 2021
The world on Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Diego Maradona, regarded by some as the best football player of all time and a man adored in his home country Argentina despite, or perhaps because of, his human flaws.
Maradona died of a heart attack last November at the age of 60, weeks after undergoing brain surgery for a blood clot.
The former Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli star had battled cocaine and alcohol addictions for years and was suffering from liver, kidney and cardiovascular disorders when he died.
His death shocked fans around the world, and tens of thousands queued to file past his coffin, draped in the Argentine flag, at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires during three days of national mourning.
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 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.
In Naples, where Maradona is as much an icon as in Buenos Aires, a statue of him was unveiled outside Napoli’s stadium, which was renamed in tribute following his death.
On Thursday morning Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis left flowers at the so-called ‘Largo Maradona’, an area in Naples’ famous ‘Spanish Quarter’ covered in murals in the Argentine’s honour.
The club urged fans to arrive at Sunday night’s match with Lazio more than three hours early so they could be present for an “intense” commemoration ceremony, while De Laurentiis said statues would be placed inside Napoli’s stadium.
Maradona’s 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 memorialized 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.
Murals in Buenos Aires depict him with angel wings, as a patron saint complete with halo and sceptre, or back here on Earth, kissing the World Cup.
Maradona is perhaps remembered as much for his “Hand of God” goal – which illegally came off his hand in what he ascribed to supernatural intervention – as for his second in the same match against England which would later become known as the “Goal of the Century”.
For historian Felipe Pigna, Maradona is “a hero with many imperfections” – a mixed bag of qualities that reflects “what it means to be Argentinian”.
A fan holds a scarf reading "Honour to who has written out history Who loves 10 doesn't forget" outside Diego Armando Maradona stadium in Naples, Italy. [Filippo Monteforte/AFP]
Women hug near a mural of the late football star Diego Maradona in Buenos Aires, Argentina. [Rodrigo Abd/AP Photo]
Naples Mayor Aurelio De Laurentiis (C) and his son Edoardo De Laurentiis (L) lay a floral tribute to the late Argentine former football player Diego Armando Maradona marking the first anniversary of his death in the Spanish district of Naples, Italy. Dozens of fans of Boca Juniors, where Maradona began his career, also attended the tribute. [Ciro Fusco/EPA]
Pedestrians walk past a mural depicting late football legend Diego Armando Maradona and PSG's Lionel Messi, on the first anniversary of Maradona's death, in Villa Fiorito, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina. [Mariana Nedelcu/Reuters]
A football fan pays his homage next to a poster fixed to observe the first death anniversary of late Argentine legend Diego Armando Maradona in Kolkata, India. [Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP]
A boy kicks a football against a wall blanketed with a mural of the late star Diego Maradona in the "Juventud Unida" club in Buenos Aires, Argentina. [Rodrigo Abd/AP Photo]
Fans cheer outside Diego Armando Maradona stadium in Naples, Italy. Naples is paying homage to Diego Maradona on the first anniversary of his death with three statues, two to be set up in the recently renamed Diego Armando Maradona football stadium and one already sitting in the city's National Archaeological Museum. [Filippo Monteforte/AFP]
Argentine football club Boca Junior fans place a banner reading "Whoever leaves does not die, only the one who is forgotten dies" at the Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples, Italy. [Filippo Monteforte/AFP]
A life-size bronze statue depicting late Argentine football legend Diego Armando Maradona by Italian sculptor Domenico Sepe is seen outside the stadium named for the legend in Naples, Italy. [Filippo Monteforte/AFP]
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