Diego Maradona expressed his eternal gratitude to the people of Argentina in his final interview.

The Barcelona and Napoli icon will be forever remembered as a World Cup hero after he led his nation to glory at the 1986 showpiece in Mexico - and he was loved by so many around the globe.

Following his tragic passing at the age of only 60 this week, his final interview has been made incredibly poignant to all those who were influenced by his brilliance.

In a chat with Argentine newspaper Clarin ahead of his birthday in October, Maradona stated that he wondered if he was still adored, and outlined his only regret in life as missing his parents.

Diego Maradona gave a heartwarming final days before his passing (pictured in 2017)
Diego Maradona gave a heartwarming final days before his passing (pictured in 2017)

During the interview, he said: “I am going to be eternally grateful to the people.

“Every day they surprise me, what I experienced in this return to Argentine football I will never forget.

“It exceeded what I could imagine. Because I was out for a long time and sometimes one wonders if people will still love me, if they will continue to feel the same.

“When I entered the field in Gimnasia on the day of the presentation I felt that love with people is never going to end.”

Diego Maradona will forever be known as one of the greatest of all time
Diego Maradona will forever be known as one of the greatest of all time

When asked if he has any regrets, he added: “I went and I am very happy.

“Soccer gave me everything I have, more than I ever imagined. And if I hadn't had that addiction, I could have played a lot more.

“But today that is past, I am fine and what I regret the most is not having my parents.

“Always make that wish, one more day with Tota but I know that from heaven she is proud of me and that she was very happy.”

Tributes have poured in for Maradona after the Argentine hero and global football icon passed away
Tributes have poured in for Maradona after the Argentine hero and global football icon passed away

Before adding of the pandemic: “My wish is that this pandemic passes as soon as possible and that my Argentina can move forward.

“I want all Argentines to be well, we have a beautiful country and I trust that our President will be able to get us out of this moment.

“It makes me very sad when I see children who do not have enough to eat, I know what it is to go hungry.

“I know what it feels like to feel when you do not eat for several days and that cannot happen in my country.

“That is my wish, to see the Argentines happy, with work and eating every day.”