Maradona Mourned: ‘You Were the Greatest of All’

Diego Maradona, widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time before drug and alcohol addiction marred his career, died Wednesday at his home in Argentina after suffering a heart attack, his lawyer said. He was 60. Beloved in his homeland after leading Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, and adored in Italy for taking Napoli to two Serie A titles, Maradona was a uniquely gifted player who rose from the tough streets of Buenos Aires to reach the pinnacle of his sport. He died four years to the day after one of his political heroes, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and 15 years to the day after another troubled but talented football folk hero, George Best, whom Maradona cited as one of his boyhood inspirations. FILE – Former Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona poses during the photo call for the documentary “Maradona” during the 61st International film festival in Cannes, southern France, May 20, 2008.Maradona had recently battled health issues and underwent emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma several weeks ago. He suffered a heart attack at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires on Wednesday, acquaintances of the former player said. His death was confirmed by his lawyer. In Buenos Aires, people began pouring onto the streets to mourn the nation’s favorite son, gathering in the San Andres neighborhood where he lived, in Boca, the gritty barrio where he first became a star, and in the nearby city of La Plata where he had lately been technical director for local team Gimnasia y Esgrima. The Argentine government declared three days of mourning. President Alberto Fernandez said in a tweet, “You took us to the highest point in the world and made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of all. Thank you for having been with us, Diego. We will miss you all our lives.” At Buenos Aires metro stations, digital billboards replaced messages about trains with the words: “Gracias Diego.” In the suburb of Villa Crespo, the song “La Mano de Dios” by folk singer Rodrigo Bueno rang out from a balcony, a reference to a goal Maradona scored with his hand against England in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. In Argentina, Maradona has long been worshipped as “El Dios” — The God. A woman pays her respects to soccer legend Diego Maradona outside the San Paolo Stadium, in Naples, Italy, Nov. 25, 2020.While that goal — and his description of it as divine intervention — was Maradona’s most controversial, his second in that game, where he ran through the England team to score a stunning solo goal, showcased his extraordinary dribbling and control that many consider unmatched. Highs and lows Maradona charmed the world with ball-juggling skills that he first showed off as a 12-year-old ball boy. But a controversial side of him surfaced in the 1994 World Cup in the United States, where he was sent home after failing a doping test. His last goal for Argentina came in that tournament against Greece in Boston, and he celebrated by screaming angrily into a television camera. Pele, the Brazilian footballer who is considered one of the only players to have come close to Maradona’s skill level, was quick to pay tribute to the Argentine. “Certainly, one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above,” he said. FILE – Football legends Pele, right, and Diego Maradona attend an advertising soccer event on the eve of the opening of the UEFA 2016 European Championship in Paris, France, June 9, 2016.FIFA President Gianni Infantino said, “What Diego has done for football, for making us fall in love with this beautiful game, is unique. Diego deserves our eternal gratitude for that.” At club level, Maradona broke onto the scene with the Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires before playing in Spain with Barcelona. He was idolized in Italy after leading Napoli to their first-ever Italian league title in 1987. Mayor Luigi de Magistris of Naples called for the team’s stadium to be renamed after the player. “Diego made our people dream. He redeemed Naples with his genius. In 2017, he became our honorary citizen. Diego, Neapolitan and Argentine, you gave us joy and happiness! Naples loves you!” he wrote on Twitter. Maradona-inspired street art and graffiti in the Italian city have long been tourist attractions, but he later faced tax problems in the country. In 2009, police seized his earrings to recover unpaid taxes while he was at a health clinic in northern Italy. FILE – Argentina World Cup soccer player Diego Maradona is the center of media attention at the Sheraton Park Plaza hotel in Dallas, Texas, June 30, 1994.Maradona ended his playing career in Argentina, returning to Boca. He had a brief and controversy-packed spell as Argentine national team coach from 2008 to 2010 before club coaching in the Middle East and Mexico. He had five acknowledged children from relationships with several women, but there have been others who have also claimed he was their father. His daughter Giannina was married for four years to Argentine player Sergio Aguero, who is a striker for the English Premier League club Manchester City. Maradona became friends with Castro while receiving medical treatment in Cuba. The football star had tattoos of the Cuban leader and Che Guevera, Castro’s former comrade. He was also a supporter of ex-Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. ‘Unparalleled magician’Years of drug use, overeating and alcoholism truncated his stellar career and altered his appearance from a lithe athlete who could slalom effortlessly through teams to a bloated addict who nearly died of cocaine-induced heart failure in 2000.  At his peak, he was, said Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, an “unparalleled magician.” “Today, I say goodbye to a friend, and the world says goodbye to an eternal genius,” he said. “One of the best ever. An unparalleled magician. He leaves too soon but leaves a legacy without limits and a void that will never be filled. Rest in peace, ace. You will never be forgotten.” 

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Football Legend Diego Maradona Dead at 60 

Argentina’s Diego Maradona, one of the greatest football (soccer) players of all time, has died at the age of 60. The attacking midfielder died of a cardiorespiratory issue, according to reports in the Argentine press.  The legend underwent what was described as successful surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain earlier this month, according to the BBC. Maradona had long battled alcohol and drug addiction. In 1986, Maradona, who came from humble roots, led the Argentine side to a World Cup title in Mexico.During the tournament, he scored what many consider one of the all-time greatest goals against England when he sliced through the English defense. In that same game, he scored the controversial “hand of God” goal when he got away with what appeared to be a handball leading to a score. In 1990, he led his team to the final, but lost to West Germany. He was set to captain the Argentine team in the 1994 World Cup, but failed drug tests. Playing for his home country, he scored 34 goals in 91 appearances. He appeared in four World Cups. During the peak of his club career, he played for European powerhouses Barcelona and Napoli, during which he helped the Italian side win two Serie A titles. Maradona retired from professional soccer in 1997 after a stint with Argentine club team Boca Juniors. In 2008, he was named head coach of the Argentine national team but left after the team was beaten in the quarter finals by Germany in the 2010 World Cup.  

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Duchess of Sussex Reveals She Had Miscarriage During Summer

The Duchess of Sussex has revealed that she had a miscarriage in July, giving a personal account of the traumatic experience in hope of helping others.
Meghan described the miscarriage in an opinion piece in the New York Times on Wednesday, writing that “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
The former Meghan Markle and husband Prince Harry have an 18-month-old son, Archie.
The duchess, 39, said she was sharing her story to help break the silence around an all-too-common tragedy. Britain’s National Health Service says about one in eight pregnancies in which a woman is aware she is pregnant ends in miscarriage.
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” Meghan wrote.
“In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”
In a startlingly intimate account of her experience, the duchess described how tragedy struck on a “morning that began as ordinarily as any other day: Make breakfast. Feed the dogs. Take vitamins. Find that missing sock. Pick up the rogue crayon that rolled under the table. Throw my hair in a ponytail before getting my son from his crib.
“After changing his diaper, I felt a sharp cramp. I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right.”
Later, she said, she “lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears. Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.”
Sophie King, a midwife at U.K. child-loss charity Tommy’s, said miscarriage and stillbirth remained “a real taboo in society, so mothers like Meghan sharing their stories is a vital step in breaking down that stigma and shame.”
“Her honesty and openness today send a powerful message to anyone who loses a baby: this may feel incredibly lonely, but you are not alone,” King said.  
Meghan, an American actress and star of TV legal drama “Suits,” married Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, in a lavish ceremony at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Their son was born the following year.
Early this year, the couple announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said was the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. They recently bought a house in Santa Barbara, California.
The duchess is currently suing the publisher of Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper for invasion of privacy over articles that published parts of a letter she wrote to her estranged father after her wedding.
Last month a judge in London agreed to Meghan’s request to postpone the trial from January until fall 2021. The decision followed a hearing held in private, and the judge said the reason for the delay request should be kept confidential.

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Mysterious Metallic Monolith Found in Remote Utah

In a scene that could have been taken from the science fiction classic “2001: A Space Odyssey,” officials in Utah have discovered a mysterious metallic monolith in the remote southeastern part of the state.Public safety workers spotted the object November 18 from a helicopter while conducting a count of bighorn sheep, according to a Utah Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources crew members walk near a metal monolith they discovered in a remote area of Red Rock Country in Utah, Nov. 18, 2020.So far, there is no indication of who could have placed the 3- to 3.6-meter-tall monolith in that location.“It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from,” the Utah Department of Public Safety said in a statement.“That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying,” pilot Bret Hutchings told KSL-TV.He added that the object appeared to be manmade and probably did not have any scientific purpose, calling it “more of an art form than any kind of alien life form.”For now, officials are not revealing the exact location of the monolith and are trying to determine if further investigation is needed. 

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Beyonce Leads 2021 Grammy Nominations, The Weeknd Shut Out

Beyonce led nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards on Tuesday with nine nods, followed by Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift and rapper Roddy Ricch, who got six apiece. Swift and British singer Dua Lipa will compete for the top prize – album of the year – along with R&B singer Post Malone, British band Coldplay, female band Haim, avant-garde British artist Jacob Collier, American soul band Black Pumas and American alternative R&B singer Jhene Aiko. The biggest shutout was Canadian singer The Weeknd, who had been widely expected to rack up several nominations for his critically acclaimed, commercially successful album After Hours. FILE – The Weeknd arrives at the Oscars on February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.Bob Dylan was also a no-show despite the acclaim for his first album of new music in eight years, Rough and Rowdy Ways. K-pop sensation BTS got a nod for their single Dynamite in the best pop group performance field but were left out of the top three categories. The Grammys, the highest honors in the music industry, will be handed out January 31 at a ceremony in Los Angeles hosted by Trevor Noah. Beyonce’s nominations came mostly from her song Black Parade, which celebrated Black culture and activism and was released during a summer of nationwide protests over systemic racism and police killings of Black people in the United States. Black Parade will compete in the song and record of the year categories, along with Dua Lipa’s pop hit Don’t Start Now. Swift’s coronavirus lockdown album Folklore is up for album of the year while her single Cardigan was among the song of the year categories. The best new artist field included rappers Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat, as well as alternative artist Phoebe Bridgers. FILE – Billie Eilish accepts the award for top female artist at the Billboard Music Awards on October 14, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.Last year’s big Grammy winner, 18-year-old Billie Eilish, nabbed four nods this time, mostly for her ballad Everything I Wanted. The Recording Academy, whose members select the nominees and vote on the winners, in June announced tighter rules regarding potential conflicts of interest after claims that the selection process was open to rigging. Under the rule, members of the committees that nominate artists for the Grammys must declare in advance whether they have any financial, family or other ties to artists being considered. 

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