IN the wake of the sad news of the passing of worldwide sporting legend Diego Maradona, it made me reflect on the time I had the privilege of visiting the breeding ground for the football superstar.
In December, five mates and I travelled around South and Central America for six weeks, visiting countries such as Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
It was during my time in the latter, primarily spent in the capital Buenos Aires (which was my favourite spot on the trip), that I had the pleasure of visiting one of the world's most emblematic football arenas - La Bombonera (Alberto J. Armando Stadium).
Located in the La Boca district of Buenos Aires, the ground which was first played on on May 25, 1940, has hosted countless of the world's top football players and matches - most notably involving home club Boca Juniors.
During our December 27 afternoon at the 54,000 capacity stadium, we learnt about the origins of the stadium, how the club has changed through time and the historical figures of the proud club - none bigger than Maradona.
The former Argentinian skipper, who's on-field brilliance was even more impressive considering other aspects of his life, is one of seven club legends to have statues in their hall of fame, including their all-time top-scorer Martn Palermo, Juan Romn Riquelme, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Angel Clemente Rojas, Silvio Marzolini and Antonio Rattn.
During our tour, which lasted more than one hour, you could appreciate how influential the man known for the hand of god was to the people of Argentina.
In their eyes, the now 60-year-old, who pulled on the Boca Juniors jersey on 40 occasions, was a god and could do no wrong.
As such, the whole Buenos Aires, Argentina and the footballing world alike will be in mourning for quite a while, as they remember one of the greatest players to ever lace up the boots.
Unfortunately, the Argentine Primera Division was currently on its summer break during our visit, meaning we didn't get a chance to watch a game there.
But from what we were told, it would have been nearly impossible to get tickets to a home Boca Juniors game anyway - even if being part of the close to 10,000 fans in the standing area would have been incredible.
But just walking around the stadium and surrounding area (painted primarily blue and gold), you could feel how much the club and its players mean to the people of La Boca.
Today, the world lost another great one - rest easy, Maradona.