Diego Maradona laid to rest beside parents’ grave
Published: 09:53 AM, 27 November 2020 Updated: 10:16 AM, 27 November 2020
Football legend Diego Maradona has been buried in a private funeral next to his parents’ grave on Thursday local time
Football legend Diego Maradona has been buried in a private funeral next to his parents’ grave after a day of emotional scenes in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires.
Only around two dozen relatives and close friends attended Maradona’s funeral on Thursday. However, huge crowds were turned out earlier to pay their respects, with many weeping, blowing kisses and praying as they filed past his coffin.
Maradona died of a heart attack on Wednesday aged 60. His death triggered mourning around the world but nowhere was it felt more fiercely than in a country that saw him as a national hero.
His coffin – draped in Argentina’s national flag and football shirt that bearing his trademark number 10 on the back – was on public display at the presidential palace on Thursday.
Argentinians were plunged into grief by the death of the country’s favorite son, a sublimely gifted sporting hero they saw as “the most human of gods”.
The news fell like a hammer blow to a nation beaten down by months of economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, but one where football is seen as a panacea for all ills.
At 10:00 pm local time on Wednesday, Buenos Aires exploded in cheers, horns, sirens and lights for the man who famously wore the number 10, after a viral social media message called for “one last applause”.
The homage resounded throughout the night in all the neighborhoods of the capital, the AFP news agency reported.
At the Diego Maradona stadium, home to the Argentinos Juniors club where Maradona played as a child and made his debut as a professional player, fireworks were launched as a large crowd flooded into the field to the cry of “Maradooo, Maradooo”.
Earlier, fans searching for a place to grieve gravitated towards the Obelisk landmark in downtown Buenos Aires – and, of course, the Bombonera, the steep-sided cauldron of a stadium that is home to Boca Juniors, where Maradona’s genius was forged.
“Today’s a bad day. A very sad day for all Argentines,” President Alberto Fernandez summed up in an interview with sports channel TyC, after declaring three days of national mourning.
All around the city, the mourning had already begun as fans stood forlornly beside banners in homage to the legend, showing Maradona in his dashing prime.
Many of the banners simply said D10S, a play on the Spanish word “dios” for “God” that includes Maradona’s jersey number.