Argentina, inconsolable, bid farewell to Diego Maradona

Photo of Diego Armando Maradona's coffin, exhibited at Casa Rosada for a wake on November 26, 2020. The shirts of Boca Juniors and Argentina cover the coffin of the legendary footballer.


Text by: RFI Follow

6 min

There was still a lot of emotion in Argentina on Thursday November 26, the day after Diego Maradona's death.

After several supporters' rallies in Buenos Aires, thousands of Argentines marched in front of the coffin of the legendary footballer, placed in the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace.

After this wake, Diego Maradona was buried in the evening.


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With our correspondents in Buenos Aires,

A queue stretching over 600 meters: thousands of people wanted to bid farewell to Diego Maradona on Thursday.

Among some supporters who were waiting their turn, a rather festive atmosphere reigned, noted

Aude Villiers-Moriamé

for RFI.

Many had come with flowers and football shirts that they intended to put near the coffin of their idol, struck down Wednesday by a heart attack at the age of 60.


I have a mixture of feelings.

On the one hand, I'm glad so many people came to say goodbye to him, he deserves it.

But on the other side, I'm sad.

I have no more tears after everything I cried yesterday.

I could not believe it,

 "said Cecilia Castro, decked out in a mask bearing the likeness of Diego Armando Maradona.

► To read also: Diego Maradona, death of a universal legend

"We believed that Diego was eternal ..."

On leaving Casa Rosada, the presidential palace that housed the remains of the 1986 world champion, sadness dominated.

Nestor Charampa came with his 12 year old son to pay homage to the one who is here nicknamed "Dios", "God" in Spanish.


I think if I hadn't come, I would have blamed myself a lot.

I needed to say my goodbyes.

It was sad, very sad.

We believed that Diego was eternal ... Honestly, I still do not realize

 ”, he explained.

Adrian, 33, was able to meditate in front of the coffin, with his wife and their baby.

He was very moved as he left this wake: “ 

He brought a lot of joy to people, and he deserved to be said goodbye to him that way.

I was really a fan of him when I was younger.

As an adult, I no longer followed him with the same fanaticism, but when I learned of his death, I started to cry as if I was 5 years old!

He leaves us a lot.

(…) It is rare that a human being, of flesh and blood, generates so much affection.

He's a legend, a global idol!


► To read also: Death of Diego Maradona: five matches that made his legend

Tens of thousands of fans wanted to pay homage to Diego Armando Maradona at Casa Rosada, the Argentine presidential palace in Buenos Aires, on November 26, 2020. AP - Marcos Brindicci

Clashes on the sidelines of the funeral vigil

This day of tribute was also marked by incidents in the capital.

The Argentines had come by tens of thousands to greet one last time the brilliant n ° 10, and all could not enter.

A little after 3 p.m., the gates of Casa Rosada closed.

The confusion caused a large crowd and the police, overwhelmed, fired tear gas.

Alejandro, 26, was facing the entrance when the tension mounted.


lot of people, because they can't get in, want to wreak havoc.

It makes me angry.

A feeling of helplessness, of sadness,

 ”he confided to

Georges Quirino


Jorge, 54, wearing Boca Juniors jersey on his shoulders, waited five hours without being able to enter.

This wasted tribute to his idol, which he had followed since 1981, breaks his heart: “ 

I just wanted to say thank you, say hello and be next to him.

And I couldn't ... I couldn't because of this mess.


The "Pibe de Oro" rests with its parents

While Argentina mourned its "Pibe de Oro" ("Golden kid"), on the other side of the Atlantic, the memory of Diego Maradona was also honored by the Italian club Naples.

In seven seasons (1984-1991), the attacking midfielder shone and forged strong bonds with an entire city that loved and worshiped him as a deity.

Opposed to the Croats of Rijeka in the Europa League, the Napoli players did honor to the Argentine: they entered the lawn of the San Paolo stadium - which will soon be renamed the Diego-Maradona stadium - dressed in jerseys flocked with his name and the No. 10, and they won 2-0.

Diego is a legend and he will never die

,” said Neapolitan coach Gennaro Gattuso.


- Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) November 26, 2020

In Buenos Aires, after the public funeral vigil and these scuffles, the funeral procession headed for the Jardin Bella Vista cemetery, in the suburbs of the capital.

In family intimacy, a religious service was given.

Then, around 8 p.m., Diego Maradona was buried in the family vault, with his mother and father.

He leaves behind a grandiose football legacy and millions of sad fans.


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  • Argentina

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