What the papers said about . . . Diego Maradona

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'Maragona. The hand of God strikes back.' Today

'Dirty cheat Diego gone for good.' Sun

'Sadly, perhaps unjustly, in the interests of the team he leaves behind, it may finally be time for Argentina to kick the Diego Maradona habit.' Independent

'He'll never kick a ball again.' Mirror

'While we may feel sorry at a career wasted and fear for his personal future, there can be no sympathy for those such as Maradona: the icons who become pariahs.' Telegraph

'Although the sight of Maradona in his fourth World Cup gladdened some hearts, the reality is that against Greece and Nigeria he was an auxiliary, not the fulcrum.' Guardian

'This is the great Maradona, and the great Maradona does exactly as he likes. He has been doing just that for so long now, then digging his career out of so many premature graves that it seemed to him he could go on defying authority forever.' Mail

'Yet again Maradona, the tragic, perplexing Maradona, has bitten the generous, but also negligent, hand of God.' Express

'He ran towards the cameras, and there was an intensity in the eyes that was almost demonic; the mouth was shouting incoherently, a vein was standing up in his neck. Could this simply be the pent-up rage of a man whom so many had doubted? It seemed unlikely that there may be something more sinister, something in the chemical make-up of a man with convictions for drug abuse.' Times

'He stands at the gates of hell. And, as he passes through, all we will remember of this one-time soccer giant is his sordid drug-taking and cheating. The boy from the gutter looks like getting the trip back there - he is the epitome of a player who spurned a God-given talent.' Sun

'Don't cry for him, Argentina.' Star