Diego Maradona was player of the tournament as Argentina won the Mexico 1986 FIFA World Cup ©Getty Images

Diego Maradona - widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time - has passed away at the age of 60.

The Argentina legend reportedly suffered a heart attack in Buenos Aires.

One of the sport's most iconic and at times divisive characters, he won the Mexico 1986 FIFA World Cup with Argentina and received the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player in what is often viewed as the greatest World Cup performance of all time. 

He scored five goals in the competition - fewer than only one other player - including two in the quarter-final triumph over England; one the "Hand of God" goal, the other a sensational solo effort.

He also scored a brace in a 2-0 win over Belgium in the semi-finals, before Argentina beat West Germany in the final.

Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina in total, scoring 34 goals, and was also a runner-up at the Italy 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Mourners gathered outside Napoli's San Paolo Stadium to honour Diego Maradona, and the venue is set to be re-named in his honour ©Getty Images
Mourners gathered outside Napoli's San Paolo Stadium to honour Diego Maradona, and the venue is set to be re-named in his honour ©Getty Images

Maradona played in four World Cups, but his international career ended in despairing circumstances as he was sent home from the 1994 tournament in the Untied States after failing a drugs test for a stimulant.

His troubles with substance abuse were well-documented, and Maradona had previously been suspended for cocaine use.

The Argentine Football Association confirmed Maradona's passing, expressing "deepest sorrow" over the news.

Maradona had undergone surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain earlier this month, but that was said to have been a success, and he was also known to be receiving treatment for alcohol dependency. 

A much-loved figure, Maradona's public appearances in recent times - such as at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia - frequently gave cause for concern over his well-being.

There have been outpourings of grief worldwide, but especially in his native Argentina and in Naples in Italy.

Maradona played club football in Argentina, Spain and Italy, and is perhaps known best for his exploits at Napoli, where he helped the team win Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup titles.

Barcelona, Boca Juniors and Argentinos Juniors were among the other clubs Maradona played for.

In 2010, Maradona managed his national side at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, but it was an unsuccessful experience as they lost 4-0 to Germany in the quarter-finals.

The diminutive footballing legend had also managed club sides in Argentina, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has led tributes to Maradona, describing him as "the best soccer player in history".

The attacking midfielder's "wonderful talent, his goals and his feats will live forever in our memory", CONMEBOL added.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach meanwhile commented: "Farewell Diego - an all-time great.

"You were a troubled soul, but you delighted the whole world with your unique footballing skills."

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said it was "an unbelievably sad day".

Lionel Messi today said Diego Maradona is
Lionel Messi today said Diego Maradona is "eternal" ©Getty Images

"I always said it and I can just repeat it now, more convinced than ever: What Diego has done for football, for making all of us fall in love with this beautiful game, is unique," Infantino added.

Current Argentina players Paulo Dybala, Sergio Agüero - Maradona's son-in-law - and Lionel Messi are among the countless stars to have expressed their sorrow over Maradona's passing.

Messi, winner of the Ballon d'Or a record six times, has frequently been compared to Maradona and depicted as the heir to his throne, yet Messi's Beijing 2008 Olympic gold medal still does not match up to Maradona's exploits for Argentina.

Maradona also achieved what he did at a time when players were offered far less protection, and skillful ones like himself were regularly subject to physical tackles outlawed in the modern game.

Maradona was not eligible to win the Ballon d'Or during his playing career as the award was only open to European players at the time, but France Football later gave him an honorary Ballon d'Or to recognise his contribution to the sport.

Only one other player, Pelé of Brazil, has received that honour.

Pelé and Maradona are often regarded as the two greatest footballers of all time.

"One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky," Pelé said in tribute today.

Alberto Fernández, the President of Argentina, has declared three days of national mourning.