Diego Maradona will be buried this Thursday -
Slow procession in front of his remains in Buenos Aires, songs of supporters in Naples, mausoleum in India ... Diego Maradona's funeral vigil turned Thursday into a planetary tribute the day after the disappearance of the icon, adulated far beyond from Argentina and the world of football.
In the district of Boca in Buenos Aires, but also in Europe in Naples and Barcelona, high places of the career of the "Pibe de Oro" ("golden kid"), the emotion seized the anonymous and the big names. of the round ball, from Pelé to Lionel Messi, a few hours after the announcement on Wednesday of the death of the 1986 world champion, following a cardiac arrest.
He was 60 years old.
A crowd of supporters spent the night in Place de Mai, in central Buenos Aires, facing the presidency, singing songs in tribute to their idol.
On Thursday, they were several tens of thousands around the presidential palace for the start of the funeral wake at 6 a.m., with the hope of seeing the remains of the former playmaker, transported there during the night.
The burial is scheduled for Thursday at the Jardin de Paz cemetery, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, a spokesperson for the deceased player told AFP.
"It's a genius, it's the people, it's us, it's life and love", ignited with AFP Andrés Quintero, a 42-year-old restaurateur who made two hours drive from his town of Tigre to pay homage to Maradona.
"Diego, I love you forever"
Before the doors opened, crowd movements occurred in front of the “Maison Rose”, the seat of the presidency.
Then a long procession began to parade in front of the coffin covered with an Argentinian flag and a flocked jersey of the N.10, some applauding sometimes.
"Diego, I love you forever," cried, sobbing, one of the first supporters to enter the fiery chapel.
Claudia Villafañe, ex-wife of Diego Maradona, and their two daughters, Dalma and Gianinna, arrived at the presidential palace shortly before midnight, followed by active or retired players, in particular the teammates of the Argentine captain at the 1986 World Cup.
This mourning ceremony, initially scheduled for three days, must finally end Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m., at the request of the family, said Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez, who has declared three days of national mourning.
A stadium in its name?
The death of Diego Maradona, who was very weak after surgery for a hematoma to the skull in early November, occurred Wednesday "at 12 noon" (3 p.m.), according to prosecutor John Broyard.
Preliminary autopsy results indicate that he died of "secondary acute pulmonary edema and exacerbated chronic heart failure."
Heart with dilated cardiomyopathy, ”he said.
Thousands of admirers gathered during the night near the stadiums of the clubs where Maradona officiated in Argentina: in Buenos Aires (Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors), Rosario (Newell's Old Boys) as well as in La Plata, where he coached. the training of Gimnasia until her death.
In India, though the land of cricket, the state of Kerala declared two days of official mourning and a hotel where the Argentinian had stayed was transformed into a mausoleum.
In Europe, Naples was feverishly waiting to see football again on Thursday evening: the Naples-Rijeka match in the Europa League was to be synonymous with tribute to Maradona, former icon of the club, who had offered Napoli the only two league titles in its history (1987 and 1990).
On Thursday morning, supporters sang songs to his glory in front of the enclosure gates of the San Paolo stadium, which were decked out in blue-white scarves, flowers, candles and stencils bearing the effigy of the number 10. The pregnant could soon bear the name of the deceased player, the municipality having already mentioned this idea.
And many Neapolitans took to the streets to pay homage to their idol.
“Maradona was our Sunday hobby, no matter what time he played it was a day of celebration.
When he wasn't playing, we were all sad, ”said Fernando Carfora, a 46-year-old unemployed.
This planetary emotion symbolizes the aura of this outstanding dribbler, far beyond the sole football fans, so much Maradona marked the spirits by his exploits and his excesses, oscillating between grandeur and flamboyance on the one hand, decay, drugs and polemics on the other.
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