Celtic pay tribute to 'true football icon' as Scottish football reacts to death of Diego Maradona

Scottish football today paid tribute to Diego Maradona, undoubtedly one of the greatest players, if not the greatest to ever play the game.

The Argentine passed away at the age of 60 after reportedly suffering a cardiac arrest at his home in Buenos Aires.

‘El Diego' was known the world over for his dazzling skill on the football. He helped Argentina win the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and came close to repeating four years later in Italy, when an unfashionable side were dragged by the country’s favourite son to the final and an ultimate defeat to West Germany.

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At club level, he famously aided Napoli in winning their only two Serie A titles and will forever be known as a legend in the city of Naples.

Diego Maradona in 2008. Picture: SNS

As well as being admired for his stellar play, Maradona was a favourite of the Scotland football family for his ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in ‘86, when the diminutive attacker outjumped keeper Peter Shilton to punch the ball into the back of the net.

Supporters, players, managers and even clubs posted messages on social media, honouring his greatness.

Celtic tweeted out: “A true football icon. Rest in peace, Diego Maradona. Legend.”

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard posted a simple “RIP Maradona #10” caption on Instagram along with a picture of the great man.

Ibrox captain James Tavernier wrote: “One of the greatest of all time. Rest In Peace Legend #10.” While striker Jermain Defoe added: “One of the greatest to have ever played the game! RIP Maradona #Legend.”

Former Celtic stars Chris Sutton and John Hartson used Twitter to post their tributes.

Sutton said: “Very sad news this about Diego Maradona. He was an absolute genius.”

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Hartson added: “Diego Maradona dead at 60! Such a shame. The greatest in my humble opinion.”

Ex-Ibrox hero Peter Lovenkrands wrote on Instagram: “Can’t believe it! He is one of the biggest reasons I started playing football! Watching Diego in Mexico 1986 at 6 years old, my favourite World Cup! #Legend #RIP.”

Former Scotland international Paul Hegarty was quoted in the Courier calling Maradona, “the best I’ve ever shared a pitch with”. In the same paper, Alan Rough recalled: “Maradona was blessed with pace and power and had the quality which distinguishes the truly great from the very good – an apparently endless amount of time on the ball.”

Members of the media also added their own memories. Tam Cowan said: “What a player. What a character. What a life. What a story. Bury most of him in Argentina and put his left hand on display at Hampden Park...”

BBC commentator Paul Mitchwell wrote: “I'm an 80s kid - in an age without wall to wall television World Cups were savoured - '82, '86 and '90 were consumed by someone who adored football and fell in love with the passion and style of the game. Diego Maradona was the shiniest thread woven through them all.”

While BBC journalist and former Scotland on Sunday writer Tom English simply summed it up: “Diego Maradona’s genius will last forever.”

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