Diego Maradona was set to
arrive home to a national outpouring of grief on Sunday after
his desperate trip from Dubai to see his dying mother was too
late, local media reported.
Dalma Franco de Maradona, known to Argentines as Dona Tota,
died aged 81 on Saturday in a Buenos Aires clinic where she had
been treated several times previously for a heart complaint.
The online newspaper elargentino.com said Maradona's
personal doctor had confirmed that Maradona had learnt of his
mother's death during his flight.
The news broke midway through the first division match
between Independiente and Olimpo in the suburb of Avellaneda and
a minute's silence was observed before the second-half kick-off.
Maradona, the eldest of her three sons and her fifth child,
was very close to his mother and he had a new tattoo with the
words "Tota I love you" put on his back before he moved to Dubai
in August to coach UAE club Al Wasl.
She is said to have augured a bright life for her son when,
at his baptism, a star from one of the church windows was
reflected on the floor in front of them.
Maradona often recalls the sacrifices she and his father
made for the family when they lived in a shanty town on the
outskirts of the capital before their eldest son's genius as a
soccer player lifted them out of poverty.
"He's the greatest thing life gave me," she was quoted as
saying of her son.
He once said of her: "She always wanted us to eat. Every
time the food arrived [at the table], she said she had a stomach
ache. That was a fib, it was because there wasn't enough to go
round. She's strong."
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, partner of Maradona's
younger daughter Gianina and father of his first grandson
Benjamin, wrote on his Twitter account: "A very sad day...
Thanks for the support. We're all with Diego and the family."
Brazil forward voices his support for protesters who have taken to the streets of Brazil
Tahiti coach says it would be "quite impossible" for his team to beat world champions Spain
Neymar puts in best performance for his country in 2-0 win over Mexico in Confederations Cup
Substitute Sebastian Giovinco taps in late goal to secure Italy thrilling 4-3 win over Japan
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010