Argentine Soccer Star And Blockchain Collectables Influencer Diego Maradona Dies At 60

Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer superstar who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title, died at 60 of cardiac arrest on Wednesday, November 25.

Two weeks before his death Maradona was released from a hospital in Buenos Aires after brain surgery. Maradona is best known for his famous “Hand of God” goal during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals when he punched the ball into England’s net. England said the ball went off Maradona’s hand rather than his head. Maradona at one point attributed the goal to divine intervention, earning it the “Hand of God” nickname.

Argentine President Alfredo Fernández announced three days of national mourning in the wake of Maradona’s death. Maradona is a national icon in soccer-obsessed Argentina where he is referred to as “Pibe de Oro” or “Golden Boy.”

“You took us to the top of the world,” Argentine President Alfredo Fernández said on Facebook. “You made us incredibly happy. You were the greatest of all.”

Maradona was a coveted card among sports and entertainment collectibles company Panini America’s blockchain-based officially liscened trading cards. The trading cards launced in January of this year and are sold in aution format using US dollars. The blockchain asset will live on a closed Panini platform where sports fans and collectors can buy, sell and store their blockchain trading card assets.

“We have spent years researching and exploring the best possible way to incorporate blockchain into our trading cards as another level of authentication — as well as the best way to introduce blockchain to sports fans and collectors,” Mark Warsop, CEO of Panini America said.

Maradona’s trading card was included with athletes of similar achievement including Shaquille O’Neal, Tom Brady, Honus Wagner or Mickey Mantle. A year after the Panini blockchain-based trading cards were issued, a Maradona-managed club partnered with digital collectables company and blockchain fantasy soccer game Sorare to become the first club from South America to license its players and coach rights to the platform.

Maradona became the first coach card issued on Sorare. He and his players joined the platform which helped to create a global fantasy experience where players can trade and play with soccer clubs from all around the world, Sorare stated. Sorare was built upon Ethereum which guaranteed the authenticity, traceability and digital scarcity of the collectibles.

Following the announcement of the partnership, Sorare issued 111 digital collectibles of Maradona on the Ethereum Blockchain. Some of the platform’s unique cards had been collected for more than $2,000 prior to the Maradona partnership.

By Emily Mason

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