- Public mourning was declared in Argentina for three days.
- Pope Francis, who is Argentine and knows Maradona, prayed for his beloved footballer.
- Oil prices expanded on Wednesday, reaching their highest level since March.
Argentine government officials expect more than a million people to say goodbye to legendary footballer Diego Maradona, who died Thursday of a heart attack at age 60. People came to say goodbye to their favorite footballer, more than expected. Such a grand ceremony was last held about 10 years ago, after the death of Argentine President Nestor Kirchner.
Public mourning was declared in Argentina for three days. People lined up in the dark of night to say goodbye to their favorite footballer. Maradona underwent surgery last week at a hospital in Buenos Aires for a blood clot in his brain. According to doctors, Maradona’s surgery was successful, so he spent his rest period at home.
Pope Francis with Maradona
Pope Francis, who is Argentine and knows Maradona, prayed for his beloved footballer. The Pope met with Maradona several times and invited him to the Vatican. Pope Francis even traveled to Mexico City to witness the 1986 FIFA World Cup Final between Argentina and Germany.
Maradona presented his #10 jersey during his visit to the Vatican. This kit is still kept in the Vatican Museum. The Vatican has described Maradona as a “football poet.”
Football manager Ossie Ardiles said, “to be Diego Maradona was incredibly beautiful.” Ardiles, who played on Argentina’s 1978 World Cup-winning team, told the BBC:
“But on the other hand, it was not easy at all. Right from a really early age, he was subjected to the press all the time. He didn’t have a normal childhood, he never had normal teenage years.”
“Everybody wanted to be with him, everybody wanted a piece of him, so it was incredibly difficult.” Ardiles added:
“He will be remembered as a genius in football. You can see the extraordinary amount of interest that he generates. People like Ronaldo, or people like Messi, they couldn’t even dream of having this kind of admiration. That was the Maradona phenomenon – all the time.”
Demand Optimism Pushes Oil Prices to Eight-Month Highs
Oil prices expanded on Wednesday, reaching their highest level since March, as people are increasingly optimistic that the recent breakthrough of the COVID-19 vaccine will bring about a rapid recovery in global energy demand next year.
New York crude oil futures rose 1.2% to more than $45 per barrel. Chinese and Indian refineries have bid for oil to be delivered in January next year, the latest sign of strong growth in the Asian market.
With the new coronavirus vaccine improving the long-term prospects of oil, the crude oil futures curve has soared, and several key indicators have recently entered a bullish spot premium structure. This indicates that supply is tightening and may provide a reason for OPEC+ countries to propose to increase production when they meet early next week.
Due to the positive results of the vaccine, oil prices have risen by more than 25% this month. Bank of America believes that as the market outlook picks up, Brent crude oil may reach $60 a barrel by next summer. Prices are also supported by new geopolitical tensions, with an oil depot in Saudi Arabia and a tanker in the Red Sea recently being attacked.
“The recent news around Covid-19 vaccines has boosted crude prices as markets start to look to a return to some sort of normality in 2021,” said HSBC Bank analyst Gordon Gray. “We expect OPEC+ to err on the side of caution, as it evaluates how the market evolves.”