Andre Villas-Boas Suggests FIFA Should Retire the Number 10 Shirt in Honour of Diego Maradona

Nov 26, 2020, 10:45 AM GMT
Diego Maradona was synonymous with the number 10 shirt
Diego Maradona was synonymous with the number 10 shirt | AFP/Getty Images

Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas has suggested FIFA should retire the number ten shirt from the entire professional game to honour the late Diego Maradona.

The legendary football icon passed away on Wednesday, aged 60, after suffering a cardiac arrest in his home. He became synonymous with the number throughout his playing career, donning the No.10 during spells with Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors, as well as the national team.

Diego Maradona
Maradona wearing the number 10 shirt for Argentina at the World Cup in Mexico 1986 | Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Speaking in a post-match press conference, the former Tottenham and Chelsea boss suggested retiring the number would be the best way to honour Maradona.

"And Maradona yes it is tough news, I would like FIFA to retire the number ten 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," said Villas-Boas.

The diminutive magician famously guided Argentina to World Cup victory in 1986 wearing the number ten and formed a great affection for the jersey.

Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona famously scored the 'Hand of God' against England during the 1986 World Cup | El Grafico/Getty Images

Maradona is famously quoted as once saying: “No matter what happens, and no matter who is in charge, the number ten shirt will always be mine.”

He wore the No.10 during spells with several sides, but it was arguably in Naples where he left the biggest legacy after guiding Gli Azzurri to two Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup during his time in Italy.

Napoli fans gathered outside the San Paolo stadium to honour Diego Maradona | CARLO HERMANN/Getty Images

Club president Aurelio de Laurentiis has revealed plans to rename the stadium from Stadio San Paolo to San Paolo-Diego Armando Maradona in tribute to the fallen star, while his home nation has announced three days of national mourning for the country's most famous footballer.

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez also offered the presidential palace for the footballer's funeral as thousands of fans gathered in areas linked to the life of one of the greatest players to have ever played the beautiful game.