Gladstone councillor farewells ‘legend’ after shock death
FOLLOWING the death of football legend Diego Armando Maradona this morning, Councillor Natalia Muszkat has paid tribute to her compatriot.
Maradona passed away in Argentina aged 60 following a heart attack after repeated hospitalisations this year.
READ MORE: ‘Troubled genius’ Maradona dead at 60
READ MORE: Fans thought Madonna had died
The 1986 FIFA World Cup winner, most famous for his ‘Hand of God’ goal in that tournament and playboy lifestyle, was an icon in South America and around the world.
Natalia Muszkat, then 20 years old, had the honour of meeting Maradona at a function she attended while living in her native Argentina.
“It was my Dad’s company’s Christmas party and we went to this place, after everyone cleared out he came in and that is when the picture was taken,” Cr Muszkat said.
“My brother still kicks himself to this day as he took a photograph of Diego and I but never asked for one of himself with Diego.”
Cr Muszkat said Maradona was a very outspoken man who wore his heart on his sleeve for his country both on and off the pitch.
READ MORE: Soccer legend Maradona dead at 60
READ MORE: Four minutes that defined Maradona
“He was passionate, honest and made mistakes without being afraid to make them,” Cr Muszkat said.
“He was known for obviously being the best footballer in the world, of all time, but also from rising up through the slums of Argentina onto the world stage.”
Cr Muszkat said his influence in Argentina and around the world at his peak could not be quantified.
“People talk about the song ‘Don’t cry for me, Argentina’ and then Maradona, he was part of our identity,” she said.
“He was up there with the top three symbols of the country and not just because of how good he was at the sport.”
Maradona’s playing career spanned 21 years (1976-97), seven clubs, including European giants Barcelona, and over 250 goals in 491 club appearances.
RIP Diego Armando Maradona.