Drone footage shows massive crowds of Argentines queuing to pay respects to hero Maradona

DRONE FOOTAGE SHOWING CROWDS COVERING SOME 25 BLOCKS IN BUENOS AIRES, QUEUING TO PAY THEIR LAST RESPECTS TO MARADONA

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT

SHOWS: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (NOVEMBER 26, 2020) (ARGENTINE GOVERNMENT TV - ACCESS ALL)

1. DRONE FOOTAGE SHOWING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE QUEUING ALONG PLAZA DE MAYO, MAYO AVENUE, AND 9 DE JULIO AVENUE TO PAY LAST RESPECTS TO MARADONA

3. DRONE FOOTAGE SHOWING CROWDS STRETCHING SOME 25 BLOCKS TO PAY RESPECTS

STORY: Argentines lined up in the streets of Buenos Aires on Thursday (November 26) to say goodbye to soccer great Diego Maradona, whose casket lay in state at the Casa Rosada presidential palace draped in an Argentine flag and his famous no. 10 shirt.

Maradona, whose life was marred by struggles with addiction, died aged 60 following a heart attack at home on Wednesday. Three days of national mourning were called for the player who led Argentina to a 1986 World Cup win and is revered with cult-like status.

The star's family is hoping to hold the burial on Thursday evening at the Bella Vista cemetery on the outskirts of Buenos Aires where his parents are also interred, a government source said. A cemetery source confirmed that the burial had been scheduled for 6pm local time (2100GMT), but said it could also be delayed to Friday morning.

Early on Thursday, thousands of fans had already formed a snaking line through the streets near the central Plaza de Mayo after a night of mourning and reminiscing. Some scuffles broke out as some tried to get inside the palace to see their hero's casket.

Maradona's body lay in a wooden coffin with the blue and white national flag and an Argentina soccer jersey with the number 10 that had been part of his nickname "D10S" - a play on "dios", the Spanish word for God.

Tens of thousands of Argentines have taken to the streets to mourn him, despite fears over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, leaving flowers and messages at his childhood home and outside Boca Juniors' stadium.

Diego, Pelusa, or simply God, as Maradona was known, had a long career that included leading the South American nation to World Cup glory in 1986. Pelusa, which means fluff in Spanish, referred to Maradona's prominent mane of hair at the height of his playing days.

The 1986 tournament included a quarter-final game against England where Maradona scored two of the best-known World Cup goals ever - an illicit "Hand of God" goal and one that followed an incredible swerving, dribble.

Maradona battled various health problems over the years as a result of his addictions. Earlier this month, he was hospitalized for symptoms including anemia and dehydration and underwent emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma - a blood clot in the brain.

(Production: Juan Bustamante, Geraldine Downer)

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