Diego Maradona, who captained Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, has died at the age of 60.
The former Argentina, Barcelona and Napoli legend is reported to have suffered a heart attack at his home in Buenos Aries.
Maradona had undergone successful surgery on a brain blood clot earlier this month.
His death was confirmed by the Argentine Football Association.
They said on Twitter: “The Argentine Football Association, through its President Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts.”
Argentine president, Alberto Fernandez, declared three days of national mourning. He said: “You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of them all.
“Thank you for having existed, Diego. We’re going to miss you all our lives.”
Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, his finest hour came at the 1986 World Cup finals in Mexico.
He scored five goals in the tournament including two against England in the quarter-finals.
The first was the infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal that put Argentina in front. But the second was sheer genius as he ran from near the halfway line, waltzed past the England defence and slotted past Peter Shilton.
Maradona also scored two brilliant goals in the semi-final against Belgium. And he set up the late winner for Jorge Burruchaga in a dramatic 3-2 victory over West Germany in the final.
Maradona also helped Argentina to the 1990 World Cup final. A reduced presence then, they lost 1-0 to Germany.
His international career ended in shame when he failed a drugs test at the 1994 finals in the United States.
After scoring 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina, he later managed his country at the 2010 finals in South Africa. They lost in the quarter-finals to Germany.
Other controversies included being banned from football in 1991. That was after testing positive for cocaine while playing for Napoli.
Nevertheless, he remained revered by the Serie A club after leading them to two league titles.
He also played for Sevilla, Boca Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys. Most recently, he had another spell in management at Gimnasia y Esgrima in Argentina.
Stars pay tribute to Argentine legend
Gary Lineker, who played for England in that 1986 quarter-final defeat, tweeted: “By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time.
“After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego”.
Boca Juniors, where Maradona made his name before securing a then world-record transfer to Barcelona, tweeted: “Eternal thanks. Eternal Diego.”
England captain Harry Kane tweeted a picture of himself with Maradona at Spurs’ stadium.
He wrote: “Privileged to have met him. Very sad news. RIP Diego Maradona.”
Manchester City posted a photo of Maradona embracing compatriot Sergio Aguero. They tweeted: “We’re joining the footballing world in saying farewell to one of the absolute greats.”
We’re joining the footballing world in saying farewell to one of the absolute greats.
RIP Diego Maradona 💙 pic.twitter.com/n16SGF3KXn
— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 25, 2020
The Liverpool twitter page noted: “A true great of the game. Rest in peace, Diego Maradona.”
UEFA are set to hold a minute’s silence in memory of Maradona at all Wednesday night’s Champions League matches.