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The World has lost a legend: Maradona dies at age 60

Diego Maradona during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. Source: AAP

World soccer is mourning the passing of Argentina's football legend Diego Maradona, who has died of a heart attack at 60 after a brilliant but turbulent life.

Diego Maradona, one of the greatest footballers in history and a towering figure in sporting records, has died of a heart attack at the age of 60.

The Argentine, who had recently battled health issues and underwent emergency surgery for a blood clot on the brain several weeks ago, suffered the attack at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires on Wednesday.

Such was Maradona's legendary status in his homeland that Argentine President Alberto Fernandez declared three days of national mourning after the news of Maradona's death.

The Argentinian Football Association said on Twitter it had the "deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts".

Maradona is widely regarded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, footballers of all time and was the inspiration for Argentina's World Cup success in Mexico in 1986, almost single-footedly, and handedly, inspiring their triumph.

He also led the country to the final of the 1990 tournament in Italy and managed them in South Africa in 2010.

Diego Maradona holding the World Cup in Mexico in 1986
Diego Maradona holding the World Cup in Mexico in 1986
AAP

"Sad news today. I have lost a dear friend, and the world has lost a legend," said Brazil great Pelé, who, like Maradona, has often been touted as the best player ever. "There is much more to say, but for now may God give his family strength. One day, I hope, we will play soccer together in the sky."

Maradona's successes made him a global star but more than that, the diminutive 'El Diego' was a towering icon in Argentina.

The country's president Alberto Fernandez said in a tweet, "you took us to the highest point of the world, and made us immensely happy.

Maradona celebrates with the jersey of Napoli
Maradona celebrates with the jersey of Napoli

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