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‘Diego lives on’: Argentines pray for Maradona on anniversary of his death

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Fans and household of Diego Maradona in Argentina and all over the world gathered on Thursday to recollect and pray for the troubled soccer star on the primary anniversary of his death.

In a church in Garin, within the province of Buenos Aires, members of the family joined a Mass in his reminiscence, with a big portrait on the altar of the 1986 world champion, generally known as “Pelusa” for his lengthy mane or simply “D10S” – a play on the Spanish phrase for God and his well-known No. 10 jersey.

“We do not come to celebrate death, we come to celebrate life, the life that Diego gave us,” stated the Rev. Adrian Guedes, a priest who was near the participant throughout his life.

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“He is here, we believe our loved ones resurrect, they do not die, he lives on in every action and every good deed that he did, and the bad actions as they talk about everywhere, may God forgive them.”

Maradona, who died on Nov. 25, 2020, of cardiac arrest at age 60, was born in a poor space exterior the capital Buenos Aires. He was an icon to many in Argentina and all over the world, together with Naples, Italy, the place a statue of Maradona was unveiled on Thursday.

But his private life was marked by controversy, together with excesses with medication and alcohol. A Cuban girl who had an affair with him twenty years in the past, when she was 16 and he was round 40, accused him this week of raping her on one event.

The star, extensively considered one of the best soccer gamers in historical past, was buried final yr in Argentina. However, his household stated on Thursday that that they had now requested the development of a mausoleum for his followers to “go on pilgrimage.”

It can be “an eternal resting place where he can be visited and receive the recognition and love from the millions of people who express it every day,” stated a publish on Maradona’s Instagram account, now managed by his household.

After the Mass, his sister Ana Maria Maradona stated the previous yr had been “very sad.” Asked how she recalled her brother now, she stated: “With lots of love.”

Maradona, usually in comparison with Brazilian legend Pelé, gained an uncommon degree of adoration regardless of – or maybe strengthened by – his personal private struggles. He has been immortalized in murals, statues and even tattoos inked into followers’ pores and skin.

“The love for Diego has accompanied me since I was little, since childhood,” stated Gustavo Emanuel Parisi, 35, an artist who paints murals of Maradona in “honor and gratitude to him.”

Mynor de Leon, 39, a Guatemalan fan of Maradona, had travelled to Buenos Aires to rejoice a bittersweet day – his personal birthday and the anniversary of his hero’s death.

“Today is my birthday. One year ago, it was one, if not the saddest day in my life,” de Leon instructed Reuters throughout a go to to a shrine on the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium of Argentinos Juniors, the workforce the place the star first made his identify.

“Maradona was my childhood hero; he brought me joy during tough times.”

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Reporting by Ramiro Scandalo and Reuters TV; Editing by Adam Jourdan, Jonathan Oatis and Daniel Wallis

Gustavo Emmanuel Parisi paints a mural depicting late soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona, on the first anniversary of his death, in Villa Fiorito, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina November 25, 2021. REUTERS/Mariana Nedelcu

A man with the shirt of late soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona, stands on a pitch in Villa Fiorito where Maradona was born, on his first death anniversary, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina November 25, 2021. REUTERS/Mariana Nedelcu

A statue of Argentinean soccer legend, Diego Armando Maradona, made by Italian sculptor Domenico Sepe, is unveiled in front of the stadium on the first anniversary of his death in Naples, Italy, November 25, 2021. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

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