- Diego Maradona's statue was unveiled moments before Argentina's World Cup qualifier against Chile at Unique Stadium of Santiago del Estero
- The two-time Serie A winner guided La Albiceleste to World Cup glory during the 1986 FIFA World Cup
- Meanwhile, Lionel Messi claims their effort to give the legend a victory in the match was hampered by the eventual outcome
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Argentina's hopes of beating Chile in their World Cup qualifier to give legendary Diego Maradona a 'very special match' ended in disappointment.
The 1986 World Cup winner passed on at the age of 60 after suffering heart complications in his country home in November 2020.
And the South American country decided to pay tribute to the two-time Serie A winner by unveiling a statue built in his honour outside of the Unique Stadium of Santiago del Estero.
It was a little ceremony with all the players gathered outside of the stadium before their 1-1 draw against Chile.
Barcelona icon Lionel Messi opened the scoring for the hosts in the 24th minute through penalties while Alexis Sanchez cancelled the 33-year-old's goal in the 36th minute.
The home team's efforts to get back in front and give their legend a victory in the game failed to yield a good result as both teams shared the spoils at the end of the meeting.
Apart from the unveiling of Maradona's statue outside of the venue, his picture was also printed in-between the team's badge and the kit sponsors' logo.
"It was a very special match because it was the first without Diego. We know what the national team meant to him, even if he wasn't in the stadium, he was always there.
"For being the first without him and because of everything that is happening in the country and in the world. It is also a pity that there was no public.
"We wanted to give Diego the victory and represent the national team as he always did, leaving everything behind, but we have to continue."
Meanwhile, Messi has stretched his international tally to 72 goals following his 24th-minute spot-kick which came from a foul on Lautaro Martinez Chile's Guillermo Maripan according to VAR.
Diego Maradona's statue unveiled in Argentina
Legit.ng earlier reported that Argentina national team honoured their late football legend Diego Maradona with a giant statue before their encounter against Chile which ended 1-1.
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