Lionel Messi and Argentina pay tribute to Diego Maradona in the first game since the legend’s death

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

Within the fifth spherical of the South American World Cup qualifiers, Argentina and Chile drew 1-1 in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, with Alexis Sanchez’s purpose nullifying Lionel Messi’s penalty.

“IS’ [the match] he’s particular, as he was the primary with out Diego, “Messi informed reporters after the sport.

“It will have been good if there had been folks on the stadium to pay tribute to him, however what is going on within the nation and on this planet is complicated. We needed to win and signify the nationwide crew as Maradona did.”

Leo Messi rejoices after scoring the leading goal against Chile.

Earlier than the kick-off, the nationwide crew and the president of the federation have been current on the inauguration of the brand new statue of Maradona 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 loss of life.

The players from Chile celebrate Alexis Sanchez's equalizer.

The draw made Argentina lose the chance to overhaul Brazil on the prime of the desk, whereas Chile stays seventh.

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