Diego Maradona, a soccer legend, underwent successful surgery for possible bleeding on his brain. On Monday, he was admitted to the hospital with signs of depression, one week after his 60th birthday. He will now rest at a private clinic outside Buenos Aires for at least 48 hours.
"It was all successful and it happened as expected," Maradona's public relations team said in a statement, per CBC. The Argentine soccer great's personal doctor, Leopoldo Luque, said that he had a subdural hematoma, which accumulates blood between a membrane and his brain. The doctor also said that an accident likely caused the problem. However, Maradona said that he doesn't remember the event.
"Diego feels much better than yesterday and feels like leaving," Luque said Tuesday morning. "He spent the night well and we have been joking." Maradona was originally admitted with anemia and dehydration to another clinic in the city of La Plata. His daughters Dalma, Giannina and Jana, and other relatives accompanied him to the clinic. He later underwent surgery. Donato Villani, the head of the Argentine national team's medical staff, said he was "different" due to Maradona's past cardiac problems and reported drug and alcohol use.
Before his surgery, Maradona "felt sad" for about a week. He refused to eat before arriving at the clinic. He also sparked concern on Friday while coaching Gimnasia during a national championship match against Patronato. His team won 3-0, but he did not see the final whistle. Maradona left before the end of the first half and created questions about his health.
The 60-year-old previously led Argentina to a World Cup title in 1986, sparking controversy en route to the championship. During a quarterfinal match between Argentina and England, Maradona seemingly hit the ball off of his head and into England's goal, doing so at a unique angle. However, his closed fist reportedly hit the ball first, which would have been a "yellow card."
The goal remained due to the officials not having a clear view of the play and a lack of necessary technology to disallow the goal. Maradona later stated after the match that the goal was scored with "a little with his head, and a little with the hand of God."
Maradona appeared in the World Cup four times for Argentina, winning the title once. He struggled in 1982, ultimately losing to Brazil. He played through an ankle injury in 1990 and helped Argentina reach the Finals against West Germany, ultimately losing 1-0. His final trip to the World Cup (1994) came to an early end after a failed drug test for ephedrine doping.