Diego Maradona ArgentinaGetty Images

Villas-Boas: FIFA should retire No.10 for all teams in tribute to Maradona

Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas says the No.10 jersey should be retired from all teams in tribute to Diego Maradona after the Argentine icon’s death.

The 1986 World Cup winner and former Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors hero passed away on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack.

Tributes came flooding in from across the world as football mourned the loss of one of its most beloved figures, with fellow Argentina hero Lionel Messi describing him as “eternal”.

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Meanwhile, Naples mayor Luigi De Magistris has called for Napoli’s Stadio San Paolo to be renamed in honour of the 60-year-old.

Maradona will be remembered as one of the best to ever have played the game and the No.10 jersey became synonymous with the mesmerising player in some circles.

Villas-Boas was taken aback by the news of Maradona’s death and believes FIFA should pay tribute to him by retiring the shirt number across the world.

“It is very bad news, as well as the loss of a board member [at Porto] who was really important to me, who was the first person to open the door for me to the coaching world,” he said after his side’s 2-0 defeat to Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday.

“And Maradona yes it is tough news, I would like FIFA to retire the No.10 shirt in all competitions, for all teams.

“It would be the best homage we could do for him. He is an incredible loss for the world of football.”

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was asked for his reaction to the news and told reporters: “There was a banner in Argentina one year ago that I read, that said: ‘No matter what you have done with your life Diego, what matters is what you have done for our lives.’

“He gave a lot of joy and he made football better. What he did for Napoli and for Argentina in 1986 was something unbelievable.

“Rest in peace and on behalf of Manchester City a big hug for all his family.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp recalled the first time he met Maradona and hailed him as a sensational person.

“I had the honour of meeting him once. As a 53-year-old man loving football as long as I can think, he is one of the greatest ever," he said after Liverpool's 2-0 defeat to Atalanta.

"I saw the documentary not so long ago, which I think is exceptional, to be honest. You could see, there was Diego, who was an unbelievable football player, and there was Maradona, who struggled slightly with all the things around.

"When you are a young person and the people go crazy wherever you go, that’s not so easy, and he had his fights with that, 100 per cent. But I will miss Diego and Maradona, because he is just…what a footballer he was. Unbelievable."

"He showed all of us what could be possible. We fight with all of our limitations as a football player, whether it is technique, endurance, attitude, whatever. 

"He just showed us that you don't have to be the tallest, you don't have to be the busiest in training. You don't have to be always on time, and yet it is possible you can still be the best player in the world.

"He loved this game so much. You could see that in each second when you watched him playing. Even when he was warming up, he was special. 

"There was Pele, for German people it was Beckenbauer, for England I am not sure, but you all had these absolute heroes who make it look easy, like there's no effort necessary.

"But they were so skilled, and they understood the game on a different level and that was Maradona. He understood the game on a different level. He knew what other players would do before they knew.  That made him really special.

"He pushed football on a different level."