Legendary Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona, who helped bring his country a World Cup in 1986 with the infamous "hand of God" goal, died on Wednesday, local time.

He was 60.

The Argentine Football Association confirmed the passing of Maradona with a statement on Twitter expressing "its deepest sorrow."

 

 

"You will always be in our hearts," a translation of the statement, which was written in Spanish, read.

The official cause of death was not known but Maradona had recently undergone brain surgery earlier this month.

His doctor said at the time that Maradona did not suffer any complications and seemed to have recovered well after the surgery.

Maradona is a hero in his native Argentina.

The office of Argentina's president will decree three days of national mourning to honour his passing.

Diego Armando Maradona Franco was born to a poor family and rose to become widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time.

He was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award.

Maradona's decades-long career was elevated by his signature footwork and a left foot which could rarely be matched by any other player.

Maradona's two goals in the 1986 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals helped advance Argentina to its second cup.

But it was his controversial "Hand of God" goal, in which he simply and miraculously punched the ball into England's net, catapulted him to legendary status in Argentina and into the hearts of soccer fans around the world.

Considered by sports media as a "classic number 10" Maradona enjoyed a long international career and became known for his speed, agility, dribbling skills, and deftness in close contact with opposing players.

His life was not without controversy, however.

From the mid-1980s until 2004, Maradona was reportedly addicted to cocaine, a drug he was thought to have begun using in Barcelona in the 1980s.

In his retirement he continued to top fans' polls of soccer greats, received prestigious awards and published his autobiography, which became a bestseller.

He even tried his hand as a talk show how on Argentinian TV.

On 1 September 2014, along with other current and former footballing stars, Maradona took part in the "Match for Peace", in Rome, with proceeds being donated entirely to charity.

 

Originally published as Soccer legend Maradona dead at 60



How Bundy Rum is helping Gladstone pubs post-COVID

Premium Content How Bundy Rum is helping Gladstone pubs post-COVID

Seven venues in Gladstone are receiving support from Bundy.

Will coal fired power stations result in climate disaster?

Premium Content Will coal fired power stations result in climate disaster?

Energy giants have invested hundreds of millions to reduce emissions

5000 blood donations desperately needed in CQ

Premium Content 5000 blood donations desperately needed in CQ

One donation of blood can take up to an hour, but you can literally save three...