‘God is dead’: The world’s front pages remember Diego Maradona
Across Europe the press have paid tribute to a cultural icon who transcended his sport
Diego Armando Maradona, arguably the greatest footballer to ever lace a pair of boots, has died aged 60.
In Argentina, three days of national mourning are underway. In Italy, Naples weeps, with young and old gathering at the many shrines and murals of El Diego which adorn the city.
For the nations and places which Maradona graced and adopted – however briefly – the sense of loss will be felt acutely.
But the death of Maradona has also resonated around the world. More than just a footballer he was a global, cultural icon – a figure who transcended sport and seeped into the public conscience.
And this has been reflected in newspapers across Europe and the world on Thursday morning, many of which have put the chaos of 2020 to one side in order to pay tribute to the Argentinian great.
France’s L’Equipe’s front page is particularly poignant – it has a picture of Maradona in the famous light blue and white stripes with the simple line of “Dieu est Mort” – God is dead.
Also in France, Libération leads with a picture of Maradona at Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires with the simple headline of: “Celteste” – Heavenly.
Maradona is deified in Naples, where he dragged Napoli to their first ever Serie A title in 1987, as well as the Coppa Italia in the same year, a further Scudetto in 1990 and the 1989 Uefa Cup.
And in Thursday’s Le Gazzetta dello Sport they have a picture of Maradona kissing the World Cup trophy next to a headline borrowed from a Napoli song.
“Ho Visto Maradona.” – I saw Maradona.
In Spain, where Maradona played with Barcelona as he reached his prime, and later with Sevilla where he was past it, Marca have also dedicated a page to him.
“If I die, I want to be reborn and I want to be a footballer... and I want to be Diego Armando Maradona again ,” it reads.
Closer to home, Maradona is pictured on the front and back page of Thursday’s Guardian. The back page uses of the most iconic pictures of Maradona, as he looks to be taking on the whole of Belgium in the 1982 World Cup.
But while there is an outpouring of adoration for Maradona around the world’s press, the UK tabloids haven’t quite followed suit.
The Daily Star leads with a picture of Maradona leaping above Peter Shilton to score witht he Hand of God in the 1986 World Cup.
The headline? “Where was Var when we needed it most?”
Get over it, lads.