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Fans at World Cup pay homage to football great Diego Maradona with shirts and chants

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arabnews.com

DOHA: Javier Maluf will quietly put on a shirt worn by Diego Maradona against England, but other fans at the World Cup have more noisy plans for Friday’s second anniversary of the death of the flawed genius.

Argentina’s legion of supporters may also be praying to the sporting gods that the late football great can still inspire his country to victory over Mexico on Saturday to keep their hopes in Qatar alive.

Maluf is like many Argentina fans who have never fully recovered from Maradona’s death from a heart attack at the age of 60.

The shirt that Maradona wore during a game against England at Wembley in 1980 is the prized item in Maluf’s collection of 1,000 game-worn football jerseys that he estimates is worth $1 million. “I will put it on for a while as a sign of respect,” he said at his Doha home, where the shirts and other souvenirs are kept. “We all know his story but we all know his impact on the game.” A respected memorabilia sleuth, Maluf, 56, also has a blood-stained Argentina shirt worn by Mario Kempes in a 1978 World Cup game against France.

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