Diego Maradona was an “artist” who did not know what it was like to play with pressure, according to Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Argentina great Maradona passed away on Wednesday at the age of 60, with reports indicating the former Napoli, Boca Juniors and Barcelona star had suffered a heart attack.

The world of football has since been in mourning, with tributes flooding in for the 1986 World Cup-winning player, a man known for his controversies as well as his footballing triumphs.

Ahead of Leeds’ Premier League clash with Everton on Saturday, Bielsa – who was this week included in the five-person shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach 2020 Award – hailed Maradona’s impact not just in Argentina, but as an “idol” around the world.

“He couldn’t be bigger. He was and will continue to be an idol,” Bielsa told a news conference.

“Given the fact he’s not here with us anymore brings us great sadness. Having lost an idol is something that makes us feel weak.

“He was an artist. There is recognition in what he gave to the fans. The idol makes us believe that what he does, we’re all capable of.

“That’s why the loss of an idol is always felt by those who are excluded the most.”

Argentina’s government has confirmed there will be a three-day period of national mourning for Maradona, who was discharged from hospital a fortnight ago following brain surgery for a subdural haematoma after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anaemia and dehydration.

Maradona’s greatest club achievements came with Napoli, whom he joined in 1984, inspiring the club to their first ever Serie A title in 1986-87.

That successful campaign followed on from an outstanding World Cup at Mexico 1986, with Maradona scoring five goals and providing five assists as he captained Argentina to glory.

In total, he appeared in 21 World Cup matches across four successive tournaments between the ages of 21 and 33, and Maradona is one of just three players to captain his country in two different men’s World Cup finals, having done so in 1990 as well as 1986, where he scored what is widely renowned as one of the greatest goals of all time in a 2-1 quarter-final win over England – just four minutes after the infamous ‘Hand of God’ incident.

“Everything he did as a footballer had a beauty which cannot be matched,” Bielsa said of the ‘Goal of the Century’, when Maradona ran rings around England’s midfield and defence before slotting home. “It was a work of art.

“Players with such unique brilliance don’t know what it is to play with pressure.”