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Maradona fan completes tribute to player with 'Mara', 'Dona' and 'Diego' children

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By Euronews  with AFP
Fiorito, the Buenos Aires suburb where Diego Maradona grew up, has become a site of pilgrimage for his fans.
Fiorito, the Buenos Aires suburb where Diego Maradona grew up, has become a site of pilgrimage for his fans.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

Fans of Diego Maradona paid their tributes to the football superstar on Thursday on the one-year anniversary of his death but one mega-fan went a step further, ensuring his son was born on the day and continuing his tradition of naming his children after the player.

Little 'Diego' was born by caesarean on Thursday and joins twin sisters 'Mara' and 'Dona'.

His father Walter Rotundo told the AFP news agency earlier this week that had never met his idol but sent him a picture of his twins from a previous union 10 years ago, explaining that their first names were a tribute.

The 'feet of gold' had responded by sending back a photo of himself, holding that picture of Mara and Dona — an image that Walter had tattooed on his back.

Since then, Walter, a 39-year old Argentine, had dreamed of adding a Diego to his family, and when his partner Victoria — also a Maradona fan, though less enthusiastically — became pregnant, they realised that the term could fall on the anniversary of the idol's death, and agreed it would be that day, by caesarean section.

Baby 'Diego Amado' was born on Thursday afternoon in Buenos Aires, weighing a healthy 4.05 kilogrammes.

"It's a day when a lot of people are sad about Maradona, I'm sad too, but it changes things a lot," he explained. "For me, this November 25 will always be the anniversary of Diego's (Maradona) death, but it will also be my son's birthday."

Fans also gathered in front of his grave to pay their respects or made the pilgrimage to Fiorito, the suburb where he grew up. Plenty of murals of the football legend have also cropped up around the Argentinian capital.

AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
A mural in Lugar del Sol, Buenos Aires, Argentina.AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
A mural depicting Diego Maradona in Buenos Aires, Argentina.AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

Gatherings also took place in Naples, the Italian city that adopted him, while many others took to social media deploring #AYearWithoutDiego and declaring him #MaradonaEternal.

Alessandro Garofalo/LaPresse
Neapolitan fans, including Aurelio De Laurentiis, president of the Napoli football club, pay tribute to Diego Maradona.Alessandro Garofalo/LaPresse