One last applause for Maradona

Diego Maradona was a maestro of football, who enjoyed global popularity. Throughout his career, he gave fans some of the best moments on the football field. His untimely demise has saddened many Namibians.

27 November 2020 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI

WINDHOEK



Football legend Diego Maradona's passing fell like a hammer blow on a Namibian nation beaten down by months of economic crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Today's a bad day. A very sad day for all Argentines,” Argentinian president Alberto Fernandez summed up the situation in an interview with sports channel TyC after declaring three days of national mourning.



One last applause

Namibian Sun spoke to three Namibian football personalities - former Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti, football pundit Isack Hamata and coach Woody Jacobs - who joined the rest of the world in one last applause for the man dubbed a 'football god'.

“Maradona is the reason your favourite player chose to play football, and I'm no different. He inspired not only players but also administrators and officials to play a role in the beautiful game. To me Maradona is football. Although he has passed, he is alive in all of us,” said Mannetti.

“He was one of the most colourful personalities of world football, controversial yet much loved by most who follow the beautiful game. His passing is a sad loss to his family, Argentina and the world. My best memories of him are of course the 1986 World Cup, when I was introduced to television at high school, and the 1990 World Cup, which Argentina lost to Germany in Italy. He had a heart of a lion, a never-say-die attitude and a 100 percent commitment to excellence on the field. Football has lost an icon but we will celebrate him forever,” added Hamata.

“He is the best player I've seen. The fact that he could take an ordinary team and make them Serie A winners, and make Argentina World Cup winners, is just extraordinary. He was simply a genius; very few can rival what he has achieved over the years. I saw him in 1990 losing to Germany in the World Cup final and again in 1994 and I'm still convinced he was just phenomenal. Messi, in my opinion, is the closest we get to him,” Jacobs said.



We will play in the sky

According to SkySports, football legend Pele also paid tribute to Maradona. The Brazilian three-time World Cup winner has consistently been named as Maradona's closest competitor in debates and polls to decide the greatest footballer of all time.

On his official Twitter account, Pele wrote, “What sad news. I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members. One day, I hope we can play football together in the sky.”

Lionel Messi, the greatest Argentine player of the current generation, wrote on Instagram: “A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal.”

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