Many big players grieve at the death of football legend Diego Maradona – who repeatedly went to see top tennis tournaments.
“A gap has appeared in the world of sports in general and football in particular”, Rafael Nadal tweeted when he heard that Diego Maradona died on November 25. “Maradona, one of the greatest sportsmen in history, has left us. What you can do with the ball is forever. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to your family”, the football world and the people of Argentina.
Nadal had a friendly conversation with Maradona on the sidelines of the ATP Finals 2010. The Argentine legend praised the Spanish player’s persistent play. Also in that tournament, Maradona also met Novak Djokovic. Last year, due to health reasons, the 1986 World Cup champion missed the chance to reunite Roger Federer when the Swiss tennis player performed in Mexico. However, “Golden Boy” still sent encouragement to Federer through a video streamed live on the field. In it, Maradona called Federer a winning machine.
“I feel you are back where you belong, to heaven. To me, you never die. Rest in peace,” tweeted fellow countryman Juan Martin del Potro of Maradona. Another Argentinian tennis veteran, Juan Monaco, said: “Diego, you made us all happy watching you play.”
Diego Schwartzman was re-posting a video of the ATP Tour, in which he explained the name Diego his parents gave came from his fellow football legend. “Why am I called Diego? I will forever love Diego wearing the number 10”, the world’s number nine player wrote. In the past, Schwartzman has shown admiration for Federer by comparing the Swiss tennis player to Maradona, because they both share the same superior technique in their sport.
A series of other stars of the village of felt like Guillermo Vilas, Dusan Lajovic, Daniel Vallverdu or Nicolas Kiefer also expressed their grief for Maradona. They reposted photos of him from the past with symbols of respect.
Maradona died at the age of 60 at her home in the capital Buenos Aires on November 25 – two weeks after a brain surgery. Doctors concluded that the cause of Maradona’s death was cardiac arrest, a stroke commonly seen in obese and brain-related diseases.