Former Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa has said the nation has lost an “idol” following Diego Maradona’s death on Wednesday.
Maradona, who inspired Argentina to a World Cup title in 1986 and coached the national side between 2008 and 2010, died after a reported heart attack.
And Bielsa – now coach of Leeds United – has been struggling to process the loss of his compatriot and national hero, like most Argentines.
“He was for us, and will continue to be, an idol,” said Bielsa, who managed Argentina from 1998 to 2004.
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“Given the fact he is not with us any more brings great sadness. We have lost an idol and it makes us feel weak.
“What really stood out was his relationship with the public. Everything he did as a footballer was of a beauty which cannot be matched.
“Maradona was an artist. Players with such individual brilliance, they don’t know what it is to play with pressure.”
The president of Maradona’s old club Napoli, Aurelio De Laurentiis, said consideration was being given to renaming their stadium in Maradona’s honour.
Flags have flown at half-mast outside the ground of another of his former clubs, Barcelona, while Boca Juniors switched off all the lights at their ‘La Bombonera’ stadium, except those in Maradona’s private box.
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