Argentina fans in Doha pay tribute to Maradona to mark two-year anniversary of his death

Argentina fans in Doha pay tribute to Maradona to mark two-year anniversary of his death
Argentine football greats and thousands of World Cup fans paid tributes Friday to Diego Maradona on the second anniversary of the football legend's death.

Many choked the narrow alleys of Doha's main market on the eve of Argentina's must-win clash against Mexico, waving Maradona flags and chanting his name along with that of current No 10 Lionel Messi. Police barricaded entrances into Souq Waqif because of the numbers.

Argentina has barely recovered from Maradona's death from a heart attack on November 25, 2020 at the age of 60 after years of drug and alcohol troubles. The Argentine played in four World Cups, lifting the trophy in 1986 when he scored his "Hand of God" goal against England. He was kicked out of the 1994 tournament after failing a drug test.

Former teammates from that 1986 team - Claudio Ruggeri, Nery Pumpido, Jorge Burruchaga, Ricardo Giusti, Sergio Batista, Claudio Borghi, Carlos Tapia, Jorge Valdano and Hector Enrique - attended a tribute at a South American confederation (CONMEBOL) fan zone in Doha.

They were joined by members of the 1978 winning team - Ubaldo Fillol, Mario Kempes, Daniel Bertoni, Ricardo Villa, Omar Larrosa and Alberto Tarantini.

"Like the great masters of painting, he made sketches until completing his most wonderful work against England," said Valdano, recalling Maradona's superb second goal against England in the 1986 quarter-final.

Some fans shouted "Viva Diego" as South American confederation president Alejandro Dominguez and Fifa chief Gianni Infantino both called Maradona "immortal".

Many fans visited a Maradona FanFest in a hangar near Doha airport where there was memorabilia and a private jet painted with the footballer's portrait. Argentina fans also gathered on the Doha Corniche to unfurl flags in honour of Maradona.
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