FIFA president Gianni Infantino has paid tribute to Diego Maradona, describing the Argentina legend as "simply immense".
Napoli great Maradona died aged 60 on Wednesday after reportedly suffering a heart attack.
Argentina president Alberto Fernandez has declared three days of national mourning after the news of Maradona's passing.
The former attacking midfielder, who was the player of the tournament when he captained his country to World Cup glory in 1986, is one of the all-time greats and Infantino says he deserves "eternal gratitude" for what he brought to football.
Infantino told FIFA's official website: "Today is an unbelievably sad day. Our Diego left us. Our hearts – of all of us who loved him for how he was, and for what he represented – have stopped beating for a moment.
"Our silence, our tears, our pain is the only thing we are feeling deep inside us at this time.
"I always said it and I can just repeat it now, more convinced than ever: What Diego has done for football, for making all of us fall in love with this beautiful game, is unique.
"It is, as he is, simply immense. Diego deserves our eternal gratitude for that, for having amazed us with his incredible talent and yes, for having been so unique. For having been Diego Armando Maradona, a legend, a hero, and a man.
"Diego may be eternal now, but for forever, Diego will also have a most prominent place in the incredible story of all football fairy tales.
"Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends at this difficult time. Rest in peace, dear Diego. We love you."
Maradona won the Serie A title twice during the best years of his club career at Napoli, while he also played for Barcelona, Sevilla, Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors and Newell's Old Boys.
He embarked on a coaching career after retiring, including a spell in charge of his country.