Teams around the sporting world have been paying tribute to Diego Maradona following the Argentina legend’s death this week at the age of 60.
Brighton and Liverpool players held a minute’s applause while Maradona’s image was displayed on the stadium screen ahead of their game at the Amex Stadium at lunchtime on Saturday.
Manchester City and Burnley players chose to observe a minute’s silence before kicking off at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Players in both Premier League games also wore black armbands.
Clubs in Serie A – where Maradona led Napoli to their only league titles, in 1987 and 1990 – will also hold a minute’s silence ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, and players will again wear black armbands.
Maradona’s image will be displayed in the stadiums before kick-off, as will the message ‘Ciao Diego’. Maradona will again be shown on stadium screens in the 10th minute of matches, marking the No 10 shirt he famously wore.
In addition, the Napoli legend’s famous pre-match warm-up routine which he performed before the club’s 1989 UEFA Cup semi-final against Bayern Munich will also be shown in all Serie A stadiums this weekend.
Maradona performed a remarkable keepie-uppie display to the rhythm of the song Live is Life by Opus which was being played in the ground at the time. The routine has earned cult status among football supporters.
The tributes to Maradona have not been limited to football, with the New Zealand rugby team paying tribute to him ahead of their Tri-Nations Test against Argentina on Saturday morning.
Their captain Sam Cane laid an All Blacks jersey – bearing the No 10 – on the field ahead of the game. He told The Associated Press: “It was a gesture, a token, of paying our respects to an Argentine legend, a world legend in his field as well.
“Rugby is a game first and foremost that is built on respect I believe, and it was the respectful and right thing to do.”
Argentina flanker Pablo Matera said: “I didn’t know until I did the coin toss with Sam Cane and he told me about it. I’m really thankful for that.
“Diego Maradona was obviously huge for Argentina so I’m really thankful for that gesture from the All Blacks.
“Maradona was a guy who represented our country the best way you could represent us as a sportsman. He’s been a huge inspiration for all of us: players, coaches, the people of Argentina.
“So we always have him in our thoughts and we just want to represent our country the way he did.”