ARGENTINA, June 27 – Diego Maradona saluted his father “Don Diego” who passed away at the age of 87, saying he was at peace and with the “love of us all.”
Maradona senior died on Thursday at a Buenos Aires private clinic after failing to recover from long-standing coronary and respiratory illnesses.
Argentina World Cup winner Diego Maradona had been at his father’s bedside since flying in from his Dubai home on June 2.
“He is at peace now with all the love of all of us,” said an emotional Maradona as he visited a city centre funeral home.
“Don Diego”, a popular figure throughout Argentina, had been admitted to hospital for the third time in the last year.
Maradona’s mother “Tota” passed away in 2011.
The football legend said it was heartbreaking that his father’s life had ended so painfully.
“But now is his time to join my mother,” said the tearful Maradona who was comforted by the likes of footballing compatriot Martin Palermo and tennis star Juan Martin Del Potro.
Maradona, 54, accompanied by his daughters Dalma and Gianinna, also thanked fans and doctors.
“I am calm because I got to see him, kiss his feet, his hands, his head,” added Maradona, the fifth of eight children fathered by “Don Diego”.