Lionel Messi and Argentina pay tribute to Diego Maradona in first match since legend’s dying

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Maradona, an Argentine icon and extensively thought of one of many biggest footballers of all time, died after suffering heart failure in November final yr.

Within the fifth spherical of fixtures in South American World Cup qualifying, Argentina and Chile performed out a 1-1 attract Santiago del Estero, Argentina, with Alexis Sanchez’s objective canceling out Lionel Messi’s penalty.

“It [the match] is particular, because it was the primary with out Diego,” Messi instructed reporters after the sport.

“It could have been good if there have been individuals within the stadium to pay tribute to him, however what is going on within the nation and worldwide is advanced. We wished the win and to characterize the nationwide workforce as Maradona used to do.”

Leo Messi celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Chile.

Forward of kick-off, the nationwide workforce and the federation president had been current for the disclosing of the brand new Maradona statue exterior the Estadio Unico Madre de Ciudades, the place Chile and Argentina performed on Thursday.

Because the groups lined up on the pitch earlier than the match, the gamers wore photos of Maradona on their shirts with the yr of his delivery — 1960 — and the infinity image instead of the yr of his dying.

Chile players celebrate Alexis Sanchez's equalizer.

The draw meant Argentina missed the prospect to climb above Brazil on the high of the standings, whereas Chile stays in seventh.

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