Lionel Messi has sent “all the strength in the world” and a “hug from the heart” to Diego Maradona after the Argentina legend underwent brain surgery.
Maradona, who turned 60 last week, had what his personal doctor Leopoldo Luque described as a “routine” operation for a subdural haematoma on Tuesday.
Luque said the former Argentina captain, one of the all-time greats, is “under control” and had made a “great” start to his recovery.
Argentina and Barcelona skipper Messi offered his best wishes to Maradona in a social media post on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old forward posted on Instagram: “Diego, all the strength in the world. My family and I want to see you well as soon as possible. A hug from the heart!”
Maradona also played for Barcelona in his distinguished career, having a two-year spell at Camp Nou from 1982 to 1984.
He went to the Ipensa clinic in La Plata on Monday before being transferred to the Olivos clinic in Buenos Aires province.
The former Napoli talisman’s lawyer revealed he only had tests that led to surgery after being admitted to hospital with depression.
“The last medical checks were excellent,” lawyer Matias Morla said after visiting Maradona in hospital, according to Ole.
“Diego was very anxious [before the surgery] about what was going to happen and very satisfied with the work of Dr Luque, which was an impeccable operation.
“I want to highlight something very important: the same test that was carried out on Diego yesterday, which detected this bleeding, was also carried out in September, which shows the tireless work of Dr Luque on Diego.
“If it had not been detected by him, Maradona’s fate would have been different. I want to make it very clear, mainly because of the criticism. Luque tested him in September.
“Diego had presented a picture of depression. That’s why I’m with Carlos Diaz, who was the one who treated Diego before and who noticed a mental issue.
“In principle, [Diaz] linked it to the issue of his birthday, to a depression caused by the pandemic and the different circumstances around it. Later, upon seeing that this picture had developed, at the request of Luque and Diaz, he was hospitalised and that’s where the test was made that resulted in the operation.
“I don’t know the causes of the haematoma and I’m not a doctor. What I do know is he had strange behaviour, he was very depressed, he made comments referring to relatives who died, that he missed them. He always, on every birthday, suffers from a kind of nostalgia.
“He really misses his mother – this is always the same on the subject of birthdays – but this year it increased, so I’m here with the psychologist who intervened.”