Messi's iconic Maradona celebration

LaLiga

FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi paid tribute to Diego Maradona in the most incredible fashion on Sunday.

Maradona, 60, passed away last week Wednesday after he suffered a suspected cardiac arrest at his home in Tigre, Argentina. His death came just weeks after he had been discharged from hospital following emergency surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain. 

Scroll through the gallery above for images of Messi's iconic tribute to Maradona

Following the Argentine great's untimely demise, countryman and heir apparent Messi was one of the first players to pay his respects after he shared a heartfelt tribute across his social media platforms. 

"A very sad day for all Argentines and for football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal. I keep all the beautiful moments lived with him and I wanted to take the opportunity to send my condolences to all his family and friends. RIP," the 33-year-old posted last week.

READ: Pele, CR7, Messi pay tribute to Maradona

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner took his tribute one step further during Barca's 4-0 win over Osasuna on Sunday when, after scoring a goal remarkably similar to Maradona's debut goal for Newell's Old Boys, he removed his jersey to reveal the Argentine legend's former shirt.

The iconic image of Messi celebrating in Maradona's kit with his hands stretched out to the heavens went viral on social media, and Barca manager Ronaldo Koeman was quick to praise his captain for the remarkable gesture.

"These are the things of a great player: first because of the play and the goal, and second because of the gesture towards Maradona. It was something really great in every sense," the Dutchman said, per Goal. 

 

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