Heartbroken Diego Maradona fans violently clashed with police in riot gear while fighting to get a glimpse of the footie legend’s coffin.
Sad mourners clashed with authorities when they broke through barricades at the presidential palace in Buenos Aries, Argentina.
Photos show tense scenes in the Argentinian capital as the passion boiled and led to fights.
Fans were left bloodied, beaten, and in tears as they rushed to view their hero’s chest.
Hordes of emotional supporters surrounded a white hearse last night as they paid tribute to the national icon.
Maradona rose to fame at Boca Juniors and became a national hero, leading Argentina to World Cup glory.
Considered one of, if not the very best, footballers to have played the game, his death has caused widespread grief in his homeland.
Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez has declared three days of mourning for the legendary attacker, who died after a suspected heart attack at the age of 60.
Fernandez said Wednesday, “Diego was Argentina in the world. He gave us joy and we will never be able to repay him so much joy.”
Tens of thousands of Argentines have taken to the streets overnight, leaving tributes in his home and outside the Boca Juniors stadium.
His body will now be in the presidential palace for three days.
Hundreds of mourners today huddled to say goodbye to their icon as the police, with shields and batons, fought to keep the peace.
Maradona’s body was in a wooden box with the blue and white national flag and an Argentinian football shirt with the famous number 10.
His official mourning cry read: “His unparalleled football skills turned him into one of the most famous people in the world, crossed borders and was widely recognized as the best player in the world.”
Fans held back by metal barriers knocked things at the chest, including sweaters, while trying to get as close to their fallen hero as possible.
Emotions flooded as crowds trampled and broke barricades and lashed out at riot police.
Mourners shouted, cheered, and waved Argentine flags as they gathered outside cultural sites.
Maradona’s successes made him a world star and national hero in Argentina, but his career has also been ravaged by controversies on and off the field.
A television movie from 2005 circulated in local media on Wednesday in which Maradona shared what he would say at his own funeral.
“Thank you for playing football because it is the sport that has given me the most fun and the most freedom,” said Maradona.
It’s like touching the sky with my hands. Thanks to the ball. ‘
The preliminary autopsy determined that Maradona died in his sleep after a heart failure that caused pulmonary edema.