At the age of 60, an all-time great has passed away, and tribute poured in for the Argentine legend from all over the world.

Messi and Ronaldo couldn’t even dream about admiration that was given to Maradona

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo “could not even dream” of earning the admiration that was given to Diego Maradona, says Ossie Ardiles. At the age of 60, an all-time great has passed away, and tribute poured in for the Argentine legend from all over the world. Maradona has been a vicious genius in many ways, with his career on and off the pitch, seeing him struggle to cope with the demands of life under the brightest spotlights. He was, however, always driven by the desire to live up to the expectation and give his adoring fan base something to shout at. The 1986 World Cup winner offered a reason to celebrate regularly for the club and the country, with his achievements for Argentina and Napoli forever drawn into football saga.

Maradona didn’t have a normal childhood

His heritage will stand the test of time, with Ardiles’ former team-mate reckoning that no one – not even Barca and Juventus superstars of the present – will get close to experiencing such widespread acclaim. “Being Diego Maradona was incredibly beautiful,” 1978 World Cup winner Ardiles told reporters. “But on the other hand, that was not easy at all. From a very young age, he was constantly exposed to the press. He did not have a normal childhood; he never had normal teenage years. Everyone wanted to be with him, everyone wanted a piece of him, so it was tough”. Ossie added: “Diego will be remembered as a genius in football. You can see the extraordinary amount of interest that he generates. Players like Ronaldo or people like Messi, they could not even dream of such admiration.

 

“It was a Maradona phenomenon – all the time”. In Argentina, three-day national mourning is taking place for the nation’s beloved sporting son. More significant than life character will never be forgotten, with Ardiles proud to have the opportunity to play alongside a man who has set standards that few will ever come close to emulating. The former Tottenham midfielder told journalists: “Diego was unique, that’s the word. He was extraordinary, out of this world. Diego had legs like hands. I was blessed to play with the best players in the world, but he was the greatest. What made him so special was his bravery. It was always hostile for him, still a marked man. But he always wanted the ball. They kicked him – he wanted the ball even more. He was a winner. And I know I would play him at tennis! He couldn’t lose.