Tributes from Ireland pour in following death of 'phenomenal talent' Diego Maradona
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Tributes from Ireland pour in following death of 'phenomenal talent' Diego Maradona

NEWS of Diego Maradona's untimely death on Wednesday was met with an outpouring of grief across the globe.

The Argentine, who well and truly transcended the world of football he so majestically dazzled for so many years, passed away at the age of 60 following a heart attack at his home in Tigre, Buenos Aires.

Footballers and football-lovers alike from all demographics have come out of the woodworks to speak of Maradona's genius ever since the tragic news, demonstrating why the former Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors star belongs among the pantheon of true sporting legends.

Even in Ireland - a nation never directly affected by Maradona's brilliance, save for an appearance for Argentina in 1980 at Lansdowne Road - famous faces have stopped to pay homage the man named Footballer of the Century.

President Michael D Higgins lead the tributes, describing Maradona as a "phenomenal talent".

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"It is with sadness that I and supporters of football everywhere will have learned of the death of Diego Maradona, arguably and widely regarded as the World's greatest football player of all time," he said in a statement.

"Football fans around the world will remember Maradona not only for his phenomenal talent for ball control, passing and dribbling, but for the vision of him on the field and the joy he brought to so many.

"He was an inspiration for many a young child playing football.

"While he will be sadly missed by his family and friends at Boca Juniors, his loss will also be felt by millions of soccer fans in Argentina and across the world."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was "very saddened" to hear of the death of a player "whose genius on the football field lit up the world on countless occasions".

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"We mourn the loss of a player of the century who scored the goal of the century in Mexico in 1986. May he Rest In Peace," he wrote on social media.

Ireland football legend Liam Brady said he was "very sad" to hear the news.

"I've seen pictures of him over the last year and he didn't look well at all. It's not a surprise but it's very sad. For me he was the greatest player of my generation," Brady said.

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"He could score any kind of goal. He's like a rubber ball, he could go in any direction. He can twist and turn. He could do everything."

In a statement to the Irish Independent, former Ireland boss Martin O'Neill said that Maradona's name will "always be mentioned" when the greatest player of all time is being considered.

Rest in peace, Diego Armando Maradona. You will be sorely missed.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - JUNE 22: Diego Maradona of Argentina kisses his jersey after winning a 1986 FIFA World Cup Quarter Final match between Argentina and England at Azteca Stadium on June 22, 1986 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Archivo El Grafico/Getty Images)
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