Diego Maradona gets inflatable tribute from Argentinos Juniors
Argentinos Juniors have handed the legendary Diego Maradona one of the highest honours they have in their power to bestow: an inflatable tunnel created in his image.
Maradona began his professional career with Argentinos as 15-year-old prodigy in 1976, scoring well over 100 goals in five seasons before moving onto Boca Juniors in 1981.
So, as an homage to their "greatest pride," the club they call El Semillero del Mundo (The Seedbed of the World -- a reference to the strength of their youth academy NOT news last week that Maradona has three more children of his own living in Cuba, bringing his own total of offspring to eight) created a giant balloon shaped just like the young Maradona.
The club teased the Maradona tunnel on social media ahead of their midweek game against Velez Sarsfield before unveiling the full thing in place at their stadium -- which, as it happens, is also named after El Diego.
The attention to detail is really rather incredible, right down to the era-specific kit that the Maradona effigy is sporting.
While not exactly commonplace, the inflatable tunnel mascot is a bit of a staple when it comes to Argentinian football.
Indeed, Rosario Central have a huge inflatable Ultra hoisted above their tunnel,, while CA Aldosivi once installed a giant green shark to loom over their pitch as players were made to emerge from its fearsome, toothy jaws.
Maradona himself even liked what he saw, posting a message on Instagram that read: "Thank you Argentinos Juniors for touching my heart."