One of the all-time best footballers, Diego Amando Maradona has been buried in his home country, Argentina beside the graves of his parents.
The football legend was finally committed to mother earth in a private ceremony after a day of emotional scenes in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires.
As part of COVID-19 protocol, only about two dozen relatives and close friends attended the final ceremony on Thursday.
Earlier, huge crowds turned out to pay their respects, with many weeping, blowing kisses and praying as they filed past his coffin.
Futballnews reports that Maradona died of a heart attack on Wednesday aged 60. The latest development has triggered mourning around the world but nowhere was it felt more fiercely than in a country that saw him as a national hero.
At the presidential villa in Casa Rosada on Thursday, Maradona’s coffin draped in Argentina’s national flag and football shirt, bearing his trademark number 10 on the back – was on public display at the presidential palace on Thursday.
By mid-afternoon queues stretched back for more than a kilometer. This led to a clash between mourners and Police, who tried to close off the palace in anticipation of the wake scheduled for 16:00 local time (19:00 GMT).
According to reports, the riot officers at a point had to use tear gas and rubber bullets in riot gear struggled to hold back the crowd.
In order to avoid further escalation, authorities were eventually forced to stop public viewing of the coffin.
Maradona buried after public viewing
The authorities then drove the motorised funeral cortege to the Bella Vista cemetery on the outskirts of the city, where he was buried next to the graves of his parents.
It was a great atmosphere outside the presidential palace. Those waiting to go in were singing and chanting. At the other side of the square, there was another line with those coming out, many wiping away tears or hugging each other after processing what had happened.
Maradona‘s passage is not seen as just the death of Argentina’s superstar footballer, but the passing of a man that many saw as a national icon. He was the star who made Argentina famous. He is loved in his country playing a very human role-model.
Apart from being respected in his country, Maradona is also respected at the Italian club Napoli, where he played for seven years and transformed their fortunes. Fans flocked to the San Paolo Stadium, which will be renamed after him to pay their respects chanting “Diego, Diego!”.
According to local media, the preliminary results of an autopsy showed he had suffered “acute heart failure”.
He gave up the ghost at his home in Tigre, near Buenos Aires. Maradona is survived by five children and his former wife, 58-year-old Claudia Villafane, whom he split with in 2004 after 20 years of marriage.