New Delhi, Nov 25: Argentinian football great Diego Maradona's death triggered an outpouring of emotional tributes in the Indian sporting fraternity on Wednesday (November 25) with the country's cricket board chief Sourav Ganguly saying that he has lost his hero.
Maradona, considered the greatest footballer of all time alongside Brazil's Pele, died following a cardiac arrest, two weeks after undergoing a surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain.
"My hero no more... my mad genius rest in peace... I watched football for you," former India captain and BCCI president Ganguly, who has always termed the Argentine genius as his first sporting hero, tweeted.
My hero no more ..my mad genius rest in peace ..I watched football for you.. pic.twitter.com/JhqFffD2vr— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) November 25, 2020
Ganguly, the former India captain and current BCCI president, had played with Maradona in a charity match when the icon came to Kolkata in 2017. Ganguly's love for football also compelled him to become the co-owner of the Indian Super League franchise ATK. The ATK side merged with iconic club Mohun Bagan ahead of this year's ISL and was renamed ATK Mohun Bagan.
All India Football Federation President Praful Patel called Maradona an invaluable gem.
"Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona was like a magician with the ball at his feet. Football has lost an invaluable gem today. His glorious legacy will forever have a place in football history. Rest in peace," he tweeted.
Batting great Sachin Tendulkar added, "Football and the world of sports has lost one of its greatest players today. Rest in Peace Diego Maradona! You shall be missed."
Stylish batsman of yesteryears, VVS Laxman also expressed his condolences on the micro-blogging site. "One of the greatest icons of the game Diego Maradona passes away, a very sad day for World sports. Condolences to his family, friends and well-wishers," Laxman tweeted.
Dashing former India batsman Virender Sehwag joined his former teammates in expressing his sadness.
"Arguably one of the greatest sportsman of all time. Saddened to hear about the passing away of the great Diego Maradona. My heartfelt condolences to his family."
Former hockey captain Viren Rasquinha also posted an emotional tribute. "Thank you for all the memories & madness," he tweeted. "...that genius left foot that was truly blessed by all the Gods above."