'Now is the moment for tears' - how the football world reacted to the death of Diego Maradona

Tributes pour in from some of the game's biggest stars

Argentine football great Diego Maradona died on Wednesday, after suffering a heart attack, plunging the football world into grief.

Here are some of the reactions to the 60-year-old's death.

Brazil great Pele

"Sad news to lose a friend like that. May God give enough strength to his family. For sure, one day we will kick a ball together in heaven.

epa08841682 (FILE) - Brazilian soccer legend Pele (L) and Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona (R) during the match between Italy and Argentina in Zurich, Switzerland, 10 June 1987 (re-issued on 25 November 2020). Diego Maradona has died after a heart attack, media reports claimed on 25 November 2020. The Argentine soccer great was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity. He was 60.  EPA/STR B/W ONLY

Argentina and Barcelona captain Lionel Messi

"A very sad day for all Argentinians and for football. He has left us but he isn't going anywhere because Diego is eternal. I'll remember the lovely moments I experienced with him and I send my condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace."

epa08842433 (FILE) - Argentina's head coach Diego Maradona (L) passes by Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (R) during their team's training session at the Pretoria University's specialized sports training centre in Pretoria, South Africa, 30 June 2010 (re-issued on 25 November 2020). Diego Maradona has died after a heart attack, media reports claimed on 25 November 2020. The Argentine soccer great was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity. He was 60.  EPA/CEZARO DE LUCA *** Local Caption *** 02231158

Napoli, Maradona's club from 1984-1991

"Everyone is waiting for our words but what words could we possibly use for a pain such as this that we are going through? Now is the moment for tears. Then there will be the moment for words.

"We are in mourning. We feel like a boxer who has been knocked out. We are in shock. A devastating blow for both city and club. Always in our hearts. Ciao Diego."

epa08842271 Napoli soccer supporters stand outside the San Paolo stadium to pay tribute to Maradona in Naples, Italy, 25 November 2020. Diego Maradona has died after a heart attack, media reports claimed on 25 November 2020.  EPA/CIRO FUSCO

Atletico Madid coach Diego Simeone

"When I was growing up Diego was the guide on how to play football. This painful moments hurts us all, because Maradona is football, he is Argentina, he had that rebellious character which defined him everywhere he went.

"He really looked after me when we were both at Sevilla and I was very young. Diego may have gone but his spirit will remain on every football pitch."

epa08842091 Atletico Madrid's Argentinean head coach Diego Simeone (C) observes a minute of silence in memory of late Argentinean soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona ahead of the UEFA Champions League group A soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Lokomotiv Moscow at Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, 25 November 2020.  EPA/JUANJO MARTIN

Former Barcelona teammate Bernd Schuster

"Maradona was a leader on the pitch, opponents dished out the ugliest of tackles to him but he never stopped asking for the ball. We didn't know how to make the most of Diego at Barcelona, at times we left him alone on the pitch."

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane

"It's an enormous loss for the world in general but above all for football. What he did in the 1986 World Cup is engraved in my mind. We feel awful about what happened today, we are very sad."

Former England striker Gary Lineker

"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"

Former Brazil striker Romario

"His time on earth brought a lot of happiness to his country and seduced us all. I'll never forget all the laughs we had. He was never an adversary for me."

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp

"I'm 53 years old, my entire life, he was a part of it. Diego was a sensational guy. Maradona had some struggles. I will miss both."

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola

"There was a banner in Argentina that said: 'No matter what you have done with your life Diego, what matters is what you have done for our lives.'

"He gave a lot of joy and he made football better. What he did for Napoli and for Argentina in 1986 was something unbelievable. On the pitch he was unique. A once in a generation."

Portugal and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo

"Today I say goodbye to a friend and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius. One of the best of our times. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too early but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace. You will never be forgotten."

Former Argentina star Osvaldo Ardiles

"He'll be remembered as a genius in football. You can see the extraordinary amount of interest he generates. People like Ronaldo or Messi, they couldn't even dream of having this kind of admiration."

Maradona's life in pictures

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