Football pays tribute to Maradona on 63rd anniversary of his birth

The 1986 World Cup-winner passed away in 2020, leaving a world-renowned sporting legacy

Diego Maradona, one of the best football players in history, would have been 63 on Monday. The Argentine maverick, best known for leading the Albiceleste to the 1986 World Cup title, was a cult figure for football fans. His passing in 2020, at the age of 60, was mourned around the world. Three years on, the footballing scene is keeping his legacy alive with heartfelt tributes on the day Maradona would’ve been 63.

After coming through the youth ranks at Argentinos Juniors, Maradona went on to play for Boca Juniors, FC Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys in a career spanning over 20 years. Many of those clubs have taken the opportunity to remember him.

The first was Napoli. The Italian club is perhaps the only place that can claim to match Argentina’s passion for Maradona: after joining in 1984, he led them to two Italian league titles, two Italian Cups and a UEFA Cup. The defending Italian champions hosted AC Milan last Sunday and the fans took the opportunity to chant Maradona’s name once again in the stadium dedicated to him.

Next up was Newell’s Old Boys. The Rosario club was home to Maradona between October 1993 and January 1994. Struggling to return to form after an injury, he’d play only five official matches with La Lepra, but he earned the love of the red and black half of Rosario all the same. “We miss you every day”, wrote Newell’s on its X.

Another club that couldn’t miss the opportunity to wish El Diego a happy birthday was Boca Juniors. The club at Maradona’s heart, he played for the Xeneize in 1981, and then again between 1995 and 1997, when he retired.

Lanús, the club from 1986 World Cup-winners native town, also remembered him. “You were born in Lanús. You’ll shine in eternity. We love you forever”, wrote the club on its X. Traditional rivals Banfield also made a tribute.

South American football federation Conmebol, the Argentine national football team, and friends and former teammates like Claudio Caniggia, Sebastián Abreu and 2022 World Cup-winner Nicolás Tagliafico also paid tribute to their late sporting hero. “We miss you, Diego!” Conmebol wrote.

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