Lionel Messi who has enjoyed even greater collective and individual accolades at club level for Barcelona than Diego Maradona, but has failed to match his success with the national team has joined the rest of the world in paying tribute to Maradona.
“It is a very sad day for all Argentines and football,” said Messi on social media alongside photos of him with Maradona. “He leaves us but he does not go because he is eternal.
“I am left with many of the nice moments we shared and I want to send my condolences to all his family and friends.”
Shirts and flags with Maradona’s name and face still adorn Napoli’s San Paolo stadium on matchdays in memory of the part he played in the southern Italian club’s most successful era.
“The world awaits our words but there are no words to describe the pain we’re going through. Now is the time to grieve,” Napoli said on Twitter.
Maradona also played for Barcelona and Sevilla in Spain and Argentinos Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina.
“Thank you for everything Diego. FC Barcelona expresses its deepest condolences regarding the death of Diego Armando Maradona, a player for our club (1982-84) and an icon of world football,” Barcelona said in a statement.
Sevilla said: “A hero for an entire country and for football itself. One of the greatest players to have graced the game and we were lucky enough to enjoy you at Sevilla FC. Diego Armando Maradona, forever eternal. Rest in peace.”