Pele, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi have all paid tribute to Diego Maradona following the Argentine legend’s death on Wednesday.
Maradona passed away at the age of 60 after suffering what has been widely reported to have been a cardiac arrest at his home in Tigre, Argentina. His death came just two weeks after he was released from hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain.
Regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, tributes have poured in from around the globe mourning the 1986 FIFA World Cup winner’s passing, including heartfelt messages from legendary Brazil forward Pele and modern-day greats Messi and Ronaldo.
Pele was quick to praise Maradona, who, until Ronaldo and Messi’s emergence, was widely regarded as the only player who could rival the Brazilian’s legacy on the football pitch.
“What sad news,” the 80-year-old shared on social media. “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 ball together in the sky.”
These sentiments were echoed by Portugal superstar Ronaldo and Maradona’s Argentine heir apparent Messi, both of whom shared their respects for the former Napoli and FC Barcelona star across their social media platforms.
“Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius. One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician,” Ronaldo shared on Twitter. “He leaves too soon, but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten.”
Messi posted on Instagram: “A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal. I keep all the beautiful moments lived with him and I wanted to take the opportunity to send my condolences to all his family and friends. RIP”