- A number of sporting heroes lost their lives in the year 2020
- Some died through terminal sicknesses while others met their unfortunate end in a disaster
- The likes of Diego Maradona, Kobe Byant and Paolo Rossi are among the top names that died
Death itself is an unwanted guest by anybody but people do not have choices when it comes visiting, and they must come to terms with reality with whoever it takes along when leaving.
The rate at which death has ravaged the year 2020 has been so alarming due to the pandemic, health issues and natural disasters.
In the sporting world, many top names have lost their lives especially the biggest names in basketball and football.
Legit.ng looks at the sports celebs that have lost their lives in the year 2020:
1. Kobe Bryant
The basketball world was thrown into mourning as the LA Lakers icon lost his life in a helicopter crash along with his daughter Gianna and seven other people in January.
The tragic incident caught the world's attention with everyone paying tribute to the five-time NBA champion.
2. Diego Maradona
The Argentina legend is arguably the greatest player of all time and his death affected the lives of many football supporters and celebrities at large.
Maradona died of a heart attack despite undergoing successful brain surgery but his legacy lives on. His individual brilliance single-handedly won the 1986 World Cup for Argentina.
3. Pape Bouba Diop
Death also visited Senegal and took away one of Senegal's priceless jewels. Diop was fondly remembered for scoring his nation's first World Cup goal in 2002 when they defeated defending champions, France, in the opening game.
4. Ajibade Babalade
He is arguably the best defender produced in the Nigerian league and earned legendary status with Oyo state-based club Shooting Stars.
Babalade lost his life at the age of 48 due to cardiac arrest and the central defender will be remembered for his exploits with the Ibadan based club.
5. Paolo Rossi
The Italian striker was released from prison to participate in the 1982 World Cup in Spain where he won the tournament and became top scorer.
The former Juventus forward who surrendered to a long battle with illness scored one of the biggest hat-tricks in the elite tournament in the quarter against Brazil.
6. Mohamed Abarhoun
Morocco will not forget Abarhoun's contribution at the London Olympic Games in 2014 where he represented his nation in the footballing event for men.
The 31-year-old died from stomach cancer despite being diagnosed with the disease in February while playing for Turkish side Caykur Rizespor.
7. Motjeka Madisha
The Mamelodi Sundowns star lost his life in a car crash and has been a key figure for the Brazilians in four years at the club.
The 25-year-old also played 11 times for the South African national team and represented the Bafana Bafana at the 2019 AFCON tournament.
8. Alejandro Sabella
Argentine football lost another icon at the age of 66. Sabella was teammates with Diego Maradona and helped Independiente with the Copa Libertadores.
He also helped Argentina reach the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil as a coach but lost to Germany courtesy of an extra-time goal from Mario Gotze.
9. Gerrard Houllier
The legendary Liverpool boss lost his life at the age of 73 after a long battle with illness and his best coaching spell was at the Merseyside club.
Despite not being able to land the Premier League trophy, Houllier won a treble in the 2000-01 season including the UEFA Cup, the FA Cup, and the EFL title.
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10. Chieme Martins
Katsina United star, Chieme Martins, slumped and died during a Nigerian Professional Football League match against Nassarawa United.
Efforts by the medical team to revive the player proved abortive as he gave up the ghost before he was taken to the hospital.
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