Fans clash with cops as they scramble to see Maradona’s coffin
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – JUNE 29: Diego Maradona of Argentina holds the World Cup trophy after defeating West Germany 3-2 during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Final match at the Azteca Stadium on June 29, 1986 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Archivo El Grafico/Getty Images)

There are few players who have commanded such a God-like status as Maradona, a footballer who has transcended eras and remains amongst the most celebrated icons the sport has seen.

The Argentine was the inspiration behind his nation’s World Cup triumph in 1986 and produced arguably the finest individual performances the tournament has seen, with the South American nation announcing three days of mourning to mark his passing.

His legend lives on further in Europe and in Naples, where he helped transform Napoli from perennial strugglers to title winners, winning the sole two league titles in the club’s history in the late eighties and early nineties.

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Simply watching him with the ball at his feet was more than enough to acknowledge his greatness.

Maradona became the youngest player in the history of Argentine football at Argentinos Juniors before rising spectacularly to superstardom, captivating audiences in Buenos Aires, Barcelona and Naples.

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He was mesmerising when in possession, his strength defying his diminutive stature as he rode robust challenges, sparkling with that familiar low-centred gait, explosive acceleration and sublime skill.

His status at Boca Juniors and Napoli borders on a cult, where at the latter he inspired a team that had notoriously struggled into title winners, twice winning the scudetto – two triumphs which remain the only league title successes in Napoli’s history.

Then, of course, is that 1986 World Cup as he led Argentina to glory, his two goals against England in the quarter-finals encapsulating the best and worst of a man often labelled as a troubled genius.

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