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Zlatan Ibrahimovic pays tribute to Diego Maradona and says he should be judged on his playing career

Zlatan Ibrahimovic pays tribute to Diego Maradona after his death and insists he should be judged on what he did as a player: ‘What he did outside is his problem and not ours’

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic paid a moving tribute to Diego Maradona after his death
  • Maradona died at his home in Buenos Aires at the age of 60 after a heart attack
  • The legend’s battle with his personal demons is well documented
  • Ibrahimovic praised Maradona, saying his heroism on the field is all that matters

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has insisted that Diego Maradona’s well-documented turmoil off the field does not detract from his timeless legacy.

Maradona died Wednesday at the age of 60 at his home in Buenos Aires after a heart attack. The very best, widely regarded as the greatest soccer player in history, had brain surgery on a blood clot earlier this month.

His tragic passing was greeted with a torrent of emotions and moving tributes from around the world – and Ibrahimovic believes Maradona’s exploits during his esteemed career are all that really matters.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has insisted that Diego Maradona should only be judged by his time on the field

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has insisted that Diego Maradona should only be judged by his time on the field

AC Milan forward Ibrahimovic joined in abundance of tribute after Maradona's death at age 60

AC Milan forward Ibrahimovic joined in abundance of tribute after Maradona's death at age 60

AC Milan forward Ibrahimovic joined the stream of tribute after Maradona’s death at age 60

He told Sky Sports: ‘I’m so sorry, because to me Maradona is more than football. It has become a religion for many and I was lucky enough to know and talk to him.

‘He’s a symbol of what he’s done on the field. I always judge him for what he did on the field, what he did outside is in my opinion his problem and not ours.

‘We have to remember him for what he did as a footballer and in my opinion he will be remembered forever. When you see number 10, who do you think of? Maradona.

“It’s a symbol, even today there are people who dial that number for him.”

Maradona is widely regarded as the best footballer in history for his exploits throughout his career

Maradona is widely regarded as the best footballer in history for his exploits throughout his career

Maradona is widely regarded as the best footballer in history for his exploits throughout his career

But Argentina's superpower was also plagued for decades by well-documented demons outside the field

But the Argentine great was also plagued for decades by well-documented demons outside the field

But Argentina’s superpower was also plagued for decades by well-documented demons outside the field

Maradona memorably led Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, beating England in the quarter-finals with a double that will be etched in history forever.

He struck first with the infamous “Hand of God” and blinded with a second, later proclaimed “Goal of the Age.”

The football legend was rightly praised for his breathtaking ability, but also haunted by personal demons. His struggles with alcohol and drug abuse have since been well documented.

However, AC Milan forward Ibrahimovic believes Maradona’s unbridled passion has helped anchor him as one of the greatest players ever in the sport.

Ibrahmovic also believes Maradona's unbridled passion has made him the best player ever

Ibrahmovic also believes that Maradona's unbridled passion made him the best player ever

Ibrahmovic also believes Maradona’s unbridled passion has made him the best player ever

“As a person he did everything with his heart, there were no other motives or thoughts,” he added.

‘I don’t know if that’s the right thing, but that’s why the whole world loved him.

‘He was always himself. In today’s football everyone tries to be perfect, but to grow and learn you have to make mistakes.

“Maradona has always done everything with his heart and will always be number one.”

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