Football legend Diego Maradona has died

The Argentine World Cup winning captain died of a heart attack, having undergone brain surgery earlier this month.

In this file photo taken in October 2016, Argentinian football legend Diego Armando Maradona is pictured prior to compete in the 'Match of Peace - United for Peace' charity football match promoted by the Schools for Encounter foundation at the Olympic stadium in Rome. Picture: AFP

BUENOS AIRES - Argentine football legend Diego Maradona has died at the age of 60, his spokesperson announced on Wednesday.

The Argentine World Cup winning captain died of a heart attack, having undergone brain surgery earlier this month, a member of his entourage told AFP.

He was renowned with Brazil's Pele as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

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President Alberto Fernandez immediately announced three days of national mourning in the South American country.

Shortly before the announcement that shocked a nation, Argentine media reported Maradona had suffered a serious health setback on Wednesday and was being treated by doctors at his home north of Buenos Aires.

"There are four ambulances at the door of the residence. They have summoned family members to come. It is serious," the TyC Sports channel reported.

On 11 November Maradona left hospital eight days after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain.

He had looked unwell during a brief appearance on October 30 to mark his 60th birthday at the stadium of Gimnasia y Esgrima, the Argentine Primera Division team he coached.

He seemed to have difficulty walking and did not stay to watch his team's game.

The following Monday, he was taken to hospital in La Plata, where the club is based, suffering from symptoms of anemia and dehydration.

Tests revealed the blood clot, after which Maradona was transferred to a specialist clinic in the capital.

Maradona has been admitted to hospital three times in the last 20 years for serious health issues - two of which were potentially fatal - due to his drug and alcohol addictions.

Several times in the last eight months he has been in isolation and was forced to stay at home recently after a bodyguard showed coronavirus symptoms, although he later tested negative.

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