Thousands line up to bid goodbye to Maradona
Argentines lined up on the streets of Buenos Aires on Thursday to say goodbye to Diego Maradona, whose casket lay in state at the Casa Rosada presidential palace draped in an Argentine flag and his famous No. 10 shirt.
The star’s family is hoping to hold the burial on Thursday evening (6pm local time) at the Bella Vista cemetery on the outskirts of Buenos Aires where his parents are also interred, a government source said, adding it could also be delayed to Friday morning.
By early Thursday morning, 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. Few 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.
Fans held back by a barrier threw soccer shirts, flowers and other items towards the casket as they tried to get near the player, who was a hero in Argentina and beyond both on and off the pitch.
“He was someone who touched the sky with his hands but never took his feet off the ground,” President Alberto Fernandez said on Wednesday.