Italian sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora expressed his condolences over the death of Argentine footballer Diego Maradona, saying that he represented the dreams and hopes of Naples’s people.

Maradona became the world champion in 1986 and was recognized as one of the last century’s best football players. He played for Argentinos Juniors of Argentina, Boca Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys, Barcelona and Sevilla of Spain, and Napoli of Italy. From 2008 to 2010, he was the head coach of the Argentine national team.

“Maradona’s death is terrible news. He was more than a champion; he was a football genius, an absolute star. In a unique season, it represented the dreams and hopes of the residents of my city. Naples is crying today, ” the Minister wrote on Facebook.

Maradona played for Napoli in 1984-1991. Together with the team, the Argentine became a two-time champion of Italy, once won the UEFA and Italian Cups and the Super Cup of the country.