Mourners line the streets as Diego Maradona’s coffin is driven to the football legend’s funeral in Buenos Aires

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MOURNERS have lined the streets as Diego Maradona’s coffin is driven to the football legend’s funeral in Buenos Aires.

Grieving supporters cried as the hearse carrying the former forward drove past them today in Buenos Aires.

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A small group of family and friends carried Diego Maradona’s casket with the flag of Argentina draped over it[/caption]

Reuters

About a dozen people were present for the private religious ceremony and burial of the former forward[/caption]

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The football legend was buried at t the Jardin de Paz cemetery, where his parents Dalman and Diego are also buried[/caption]

Reuters

Crowds lined the street to catch a glimpse of Maradona’s hearse as head towards the cemetery [/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

A grieving football fan puts his hand on the window of the hearse carrying Maradona’s coffin[/caption]

Maradona was laid to rest next to his parents Dalma and Diego at the Jardin de Paz cemetery.

A small group of family and friends carried his casket with the flag of Argentina draped over it into the the cemetery.

About a dozen people were gathered for the private religious ceremony and burial.

His body was meant to lie in state for three days at the presidential palace after Argentina’s president Alberto Fernandez declared three days of mourning for Maradona.

Earlier today, fans of Diego Maradona have clashed with police as they scrambled to get a glimpse of the Argentine football legend’s casket in Buenos Aires.

Grief and passion boiled over as heartbroken supporters broke through barriers and brawled with riot police near the presidential palace.

Pictures also show hordes of tearful fans surrounding a white hearse last night as they desperately hoped for a glimpse of their hero’s final journey through the capital.

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This man sobs for Maradona as the hearse passes by him in Buenos Aires[/caption]

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Hundreds of supporters crowd the road in an outpour of grief for the former forward[/caption]

Reuters

People stand on the bridge and the highway as a large number of security vehicles escort the football player’s hearse on the 25 de Mayo Highway[/caption]

EPA

A man with a Maradona tattoo on his back arrives at the presidential palace to get a glimpse of the casket carrying the former forward[/caption]

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Mourning fans climb the fence of the presidential palace to get a glimpse of the casket carrying Maradona’s body [/caption]

Reuters

Fans wave as the funeral procession with the casket of soccer legend Maradona leaves the presidential palace Casa Rosada[/caption]

AFP

Maradona’s coffin being loaded into the hearse at the presidential palace[/caption]

Tens of thousands of Argentines took to the streets to mourn him, leaving flowers and messages at his childhood home and at Boca Juniors’ stadium.

Maradona became a star in Buenos Aires with Boca Juniors and went on to be a national hero and cultural icon in Argentina.

Fernandez has decreed three days of mourning after the death of the legendary player of a suspected heart attack aged 60.

“His unparalleled footballing skill transformed him into one of the best-known people in the world, crossing frontiers and being universally recognized as the world’s best player,” said the official mourning decree.

“Diego”, “Pelusa”, or simply “God”, as Maradona was known, had a long career that included leading the South American nation to World Cup glory in 1986.


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Maradona’s body lay in a wooden coffin with the blue and white national flag and an Argentina soccer jersey with the famous number 10.

It had been part of his nickname “D10S” – a play on “dios”, the Spanish word for God.

Fans held back by a barrier threw things towards the casket, including soccer shirts, as they tried to get near the player.

Maradona became a hero in Argentina and beyond both on and off the pitch despite his well-documented flaws.

“He was someone who touched the sky with his hands but never took his feet off the ground,” President Fernandez said on Wednesday.

Hundreds of fans also congregated at other landmarks associated with Maradona.

They gathered outside the home where he was born in the Villa Fiorito neighbourhood, Argentinos Juniors’ stadium, where he began his career, La Bombonera stadium, the home of one of Boca Juniors and also at the headquarters of Gimnasia, the Argentinian club in La Plata where he was head coach before he died.

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From the left:  Maradona’s daughters Dalma and Giannina leaving the Casa Rosada presidential palace [/caption]

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Fans cheer on the street near Bella Vista cemetery[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Relatives and friends bury the remains of Diego Maradona while police keep fans outside the Jardin de Bellavista cemetery in Buenos Aires[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

The hearse carrying the casket of Diego Maradona leaves the government house[/caption]

Maradona’s successes made him a global star and a national hero in Argentina but his career was also blighted by controversies on and off the field.

Major athletes and world leaders, including Argentine-born Pope Francis, have paid tribute to Maradona – whose appeal and personality transcended football.

A 2005 television clip circulated in local media on Wednesday in which Maradona shared what he would say at his own funeral.

“Thank you for having played football, because it is the sport that gave me the most joy, the most freedom,” Maradona said.

“It is like touching the sky with my hands. Thanks to the ball.”

Meanwhile, all schools in Naples will be closed today in honour of their former player, with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis admitting he could change the name of the San Paolo stadium after Maradona too.

Fans flooded into the streets of the city’s Spanish Quarters, many of them lighting a candle beneath a huge mural of the Argentine in his sky-blue jersey.

“Ciao, God of Football,” read paper signs affixed to the walls of the working class neighbourhood by fans, while others left flowers and messages.

Emotional fans also gathered at Napoli’s San Paolo ground, where they left scarves, candles, photos and shirts in tribute to their hero.

“He was a symbol, our hero,”said a young man, who held up his ID card to show that his parents had named him Diego Armando in honour of their idol.

“He gave the city a lift through soccer. It might seem stupid but that’s the way it was here.”

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Diego Maradona at Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires, lies draped in the Argentine flag and his famous No 10 shirt[/caption]

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One fan pounds on the shield of a riot cop as they try to get a glimpse of their hero’s casket at the presidential palace[/caption]

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A bloodied fan during clashes with police[/caption]

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One man breaks down in tears during the clashes with police[/caption]

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Police try to keep order against the surging throng of Maradona fans[/caption]

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One man embraces his screaming friend amid the chaos [/caption]

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Fans break through metal barriers and brawl with riot police near the presidential palace in Argentina [/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Grief and passion boiled over followed the death of Diego Maradona aged 60[/caption]

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Hundreds of fans of Maradona faced off with cops in Buenos Aires[/caption]

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Police detain a man during clashes while fans wait to enter the Government House[/caption]

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Fists and batons fly while fans fight with riot police[/caption]

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Barriers are torn down and hurled towards cops [/caption]

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One man kneels before a police line during the brawls [/caption]

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Fans carrying flowers grapple with cops[/caption]

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Tearful fans wave Argentine flags as they pay tribute to Maradona[/caption]

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A man is helped away from the scene amid clashes [/caption]

EPA

Fans kick down barricades as they scramble to see Maradona’s coffin[/caption]

Mourners pass by the casket of Diego Maradona as he lies in state
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Heartbroken fans leave the presidential palace after seeing Maradona’s coffin[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

A man and woman hold hands as they come to terns with the death of Maradona[/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

A fan stands with his head in his arms as he weeps for Maradona[/caption]

Reuters

Maradona’s coffin arrives at Argentina’s presidential palace as he will lie in state of three days alongside three days of mourning in Argentina[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Fans surround the hearse carrying the coffin of Diego Maradona to a funeral house in Buenos Aires[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Maradona’s death has triggered an outpouring of national grief in Argentina[/caption]

Back in Buenos Aires, fans laid bouquets of flowers near Boca Juniors’ stadium.

Others gathered in the San Andres neighborhood where he lived and in the nearby city of La Plata where he had lately been technical director for local team Gimnasia y Esgrima.

“Diego is the greatest there is, the best,” said 53-year-old Buenos Aires resident Jose Luis Shokiva.

“I met my wife in 1986 when Diego scored the goal with his hand, The truth for me is that Diego is everything.

“As a Boca fan, as an Argentine, he is the greatest. What has happened is an immense sadness.”

AP:Associated Press

Napoli fans set off red smoke at a mural to their hero in the city[/caption]

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A woman sobs on the streets of Buenos Aires[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

A man wipes away tears in front of a giant mural of Maradona[/caption]

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A woman struggles to hold back tears as she gathers with other fans at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium in Buenos Aires, [/caption]

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Some later gathered at the morgue where the autopsy on his body was due to take place[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Fans paying tribute to the player at a stadium named after him in Buenos Aires[/caption]

Nine ambulances were sent to Maradona’s house around midday local time today in the exclusive gated residential neighbourhood of San Andres north of Buenos Aires where Maradona went to live after leaving hospital.

Local reports said one of the nurses caring for him had raised the alarm after discovering he had suffered a suspected heart attack.

None of the medical responders who rushed to the house were able to do anything to save him.

The preliminary autopsy has found Maradona died in his sleep after suffering heart failure which caused a pulmonary edema.

Medics are also said to have detected dilated cardiomyopathy, a medical condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body.

Pulmonary edema, fluid accumulation in the lung’s tissue and air spaces, are caused by heart problems in most cases.

AP:Associated Press

A kneeling fan mourns the death Maradona at the entrance to the Boca Juniors stadium[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

The shrine with pictures of Maradona in the background[/caption]

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Fans stand beneath a mural of the legend in Argentina[/caption]

Maradona’s psychologist Carlos Diaz and a psychiatrist named as Agustina Cosachov arrived at the home in the exclusive gated estate where he had been resting since being discharged from hospital.

“They went to his bedroom on a ground floor and spoke to him and he didn’t reply and they asked his nephew and an assistant to enter the room,” according to the report leaked to Argentinian media.

The reports added: “They tried to wake him up and after failing to detect any vital signs made an unsuccessful attempt to revive him by practising CPR.

”The first emergency medical responders on the scene continued the attempts to revive Maradona along with a surgeon who lives near the property, using adrenaline and atropine which is a prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of low heart rate.”

Reportedly the last person to see him alive was his nephew Johnny Esposito.

And the football legend’s last words were that he didn’t feel well and was going to lie down again.

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Tearful fans mourn Maradona in Argentina [/caption]

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A fan with a tattoo of Maradona on his chest[/caption]

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Candles were lit as Argentinians mourned the iconic player[/caption]

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Fans gathered at the entrance of the Boca Juniors La Bombanera stadium to sing football chants[/caption]

Argentina’s former manager Cesar Luis Menotti paid tribute to Maradona by saying: “I’m devastated. I can’t believe it. I’m absolutely gutted. There’s no more I can say at this moment.

“I thought at first the news of his death was fake news but obviously it’s what happened. It’s terrible and a tragic surprise because measures had been taken to make sure he was being looked after.”

Meanwhile, president Fernandez tweeted a picture of him hugging Maradona alongside a heartfelt message.

It said: “You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all.

“Thank you for having existed Diego. We’re going to miss you forever.”

Maradona played for Napoli between 1984 and 1991, scoring 115 goals in 259 games.

He led them to two Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990, as well as the 1987 Italian Cup and 1989 UEFA Cup.

And president De Laurentiis has revealed he is considering changing the name of the San Paolo stadium to include Maradona.

He said: “We can consider the idea of calling our stadium San Paolo-Diego Armanda Maradona.”

Meanwhile, Italian Chamber of Deputies President Fico added: “Naples will always be grateful to you for those unforgettable years.”

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A child clutches her mother [/caption]

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Fans were seen hugging and crying in emotional scenes worldwide[/caption]

Reuters

A man sobs outside the Marcelo Biesla stadium in Rosario[/caption]

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A huge flag dubbing Maradona ‘the king’ was strung up outsideSan Paulo stadium in Naples[/caption]

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A man walks past flowers left by a mural of the revered legend in Argentia[/caption]

Argentina president Alberto Fernandez has decreed three days of mourning for close friend Diego Maradona
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Grieving fans around another mural of Maradona[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Another Boca Juniors fan is overcome by grief [/caption]

AP:Associated Press

A man clutching his hands in prayer [/caption]

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Smoke bombs were also set off another mural site[/caption]

Meanwhile, Peter Shilton, the England goalkeeper beaten by Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final, shared his memories of that game.

“For me as a goalkeeper there didn’t seem to be any danger,” he told Sky Sports News.

“He would have been offside but one of our own players, Steve Hodge, was put off balance, so he was trying to clear it and hooked it back.

“I had a split-second decision to make – do I stay on my line and let the world’s greatest player have an opportunity from 10 yards out or can I get there?


“I felt I could just get there, it was an instinct thing, but I was always second-best, I was always trying to catch up.

“I was diving a little bit flat. I knew I was going to get the ball, I think Maradona said in an interview the reason he punched it in with his hand was because he could see I was getting above him, and he couldn’t head it.

“He took a chance, it ended up in the back of the net and then he ran off to celebrate.

“You’re looking around waiting for the referee to blow his whistle as we did, and of course the rest is history.”

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