Maradona "eternal," says Messi

BUENOS AIRES, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi on Wednesday paid tribute to Diego Armando Maradona, saying the late player and coach will never be forgotten.

In a message posted on social media, the Barcelona player wrote: "A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He has left us but he isn't gone, because Diego is eternal."

Messi, who is also captain of Argentina's national team, said: "I am left with all the beautiful moments I experienced with him," and expressed his "condolences to all his family and friends."

The 33-year-old forward was coached by Maradona for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where Argentina lost 0-4 to Germany in the quarterfinals.

In his post, Messi attached two photos of the pair smiling, one of them taken during the World Cup in South Africa.

Maradona, who turned 60 at the end of October, suffered a heart attack on Wednesday that led to cardiorespiratory arrest. He died at his home in the northern outskirts of Buenos Aires.

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