“In Argentina, Maradona arouses a visceral identification within the popular classes”

Argentina mourns the death of Diego Maradona. Brilliant number 10, known for his prowess on the field but also his excesses of all kinds, the Argentine football player has deeply marked the history of his country, well beyond sport, explains historian Lucie Hémeury, associate researcher at CREDA (Center for Research and Documentation of the Americas), and specialist in the history of sport in Argentina.

Diego Maradona is dead

Diego Maradona’s death gave rise to impressive scenes of Argentines paying homage to him. What place does it occupy exactly in Argentina?

The announcement of a three-day national mourning and official funeral makes it clear: Diego Maradona holds a major place in the history of this country. His remains, moreover, were exhibited in exactly the same location within the presidential palace as that of the former President of the Republic Néstor Kirchner – also who died at the age of 60 of a heart attack – ten years ago. Maradona is national and international glory. With his death, it is the last great representative of Argentina in the world who passed away. As the decree promulgated by President Alberto Fernandez indicates, Maradona has “Raised the sport to its highest level and represented every Argentinian and Argentinian in the world: pronounce the word Argentina and we immediately answer Maradona”.

Why is he so revered by millions of Argentines?

It has often been said and repeated, football in Argentina,

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