Bollywood starts expressed grief on Maradona's death. (AP Image)
Film personalities, including Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn and directors Vikramaditya Motwane and Asif Kapadia, condoled the passing away of legendary football player Diego Maradona, saying the Argentine soccer great will be sorely missed. Maradona, who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before struggling with cocaine use and obesity, died following a cardiac arrest on Wednesday, two weeks after undergoing a surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain. He was 60.
Khan, an avid sports fan, shared a picture of Maradona lifting the World Cup and said the veteran made football “even more beautiful”. “You will be sorely missed and may you entertain and enthral heaven as you did this world. RIP,” he wrote on Twitter. Devgn, who essays the role of a football coach in his upcoming film “Maidaan”, said he has closely followed the legend’s game and life for years.
“‘Maidaan’ brought me closer to the game. He was a football legend and a passionate sportsman. Sad to see him go. RIP Diego Maradona,” Devgn tweeted. Motwane said Maradona was the first football player he ever heard of. “The 86 final was the first match I ever saw. He triggered what has been a lifetime of deep love and passion for the game for me. Can’t believe he’s gone so soon,” he wrote on the microblogging site.
The filmmaker also asked his followers to watch “Diego Maradona”, a documentary on the late star by Indian-origin British filmmaker Asif Kapadia. It shows how one man could transform a club and a country with his magic, Motwane said in his praise for the 2019 documentary.
A passionate fan of Maradona and the sport, Kapadia said the death of the football titan is hard to process as he “always seemed indestructible”. “I had 10 hours with the man!! I touched his left foot. We did our best to show the world the man, the myth, the fighter he was. The greatest #legend #DiegoMaradona,” the Oscar winner tweeted.
In a 2019 interview to PTI, London-based Kapadia said he lived with the idea of making a documentary on Maradona for 25 years, ever since the 1990s when he was a film student and read a book on the legendary footballer. “When I was growing up, Maradona was the best player in the world. There was no doubt about it. I’m interested in him as a character though. That’s the thing. There’s been lots of great players. He was the best,” said Kapadia, who has won multiple awards for his documentaries “Senna” and “Amy”.
South superstar Mohanlal wrote on Twitter, “Rest in peace, legend. Diego Maradona.” Abhishek Bachchan, an ardent fan of the game, remembered Maradona as the ‘Greatest Of All Time’. “#RIPMaradona legend! #GOAT,” the “Ludo” star said.
Director Shekhar Kapur, who is currently in London, called the late veteran “the greatest genius in football after Pele”, the Brazilian legend.
Actor Karisma Kapoor said it was “an honour” to meet Maradona, who last came to India in 2017. “Thank you for the beauty, Maradona. Rest in peace,” tweeted Rahul Bose. “A legend has passed. Rest in Peace #Maradona,” wrote South star Mahesh Babu