The 57-year-old football legend started the evening dancing playfully with a female Nigeria fan, saluting, and waving to well-wishers applauding him in the moments before kick-off.
Throughout Argentina's nerve-wrecking 2-1 victory, which secured a place into the last 16, the camera was fixed on one man. Maradona.
When Messi gave Argentina the lead early in the first half, Maradona screamed with delight, crossed his hands across his chest, and looked into to the heavens.
But it was a goal by Marcos Rojo in the final moments when Maradona exploded. He shouted an obscene insult and raised the middle finger of each hand in the direction of the pitch. The excessive celebration, however, took a toll on the 1986 World Cup-winner, who was later rushed to the hospital.
In Pics: Diego Maradona's Array of Expressions After Argentina's Win
South American journalist Diego Cora tweeted: "Maradona had to be cared for by the doctors and was taken to hospital."
Football fans across the globe who witnessed Maradona on their television sets were quick to take to Twitter and meme the star of the show.
— Manny (@Mannytwotimez) June 26, 2018
4 stages of a night out pic.twitter.com/BoNSXkHPDA — C (@C98__) June 26, 2018
It’s exhausting being Maradona. pic.twitter.com/5n3xp8lUx5
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 26, 2018
Maradona of Thrones @GameOfThrones #GameOfThrones pic.twitter.com/LALh0MTI1C — Leandro Rafael (@Aretorios) June 27, 2018
Who did this!!?? 😂😂😂😂 #ArgentinaVsNigeria #maradona pic.twitter.com/itb4DplrYZ — Dollita (@DollyRDumeyer) June 27, 2018
Maradona had something to say about Argentina's win: pic.twitter.com/JMH14db7JG
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 26, 2018
"so what do you do?" "i provide security for Maradona." "oh, like, you're his bodyguard?" "Not quite..." pic.twitter.com/mHiTP3h4Xh — Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) June 26, 2018
— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) June 26, 2018
Maradona Forever pic.twitter.com/FVbkUCuhgw — Alfredito Ω (@AlfreditoLCDA) June 27, 2018
Who did it better? pic.twitter.com/LIrHQrzfIb
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 26, 2018
Maradona is the best. pic.twitter.com/bFgTOUW33l — Jimmy Conrad (@JimmyConrad) June 26, 2018
— बेरोजगार युवा (@Rofl_nepal) June 27, 2018
When the cocaine is too good 😂#NGAARG #Maradona pic.twitter.com/roUxAb3bq9 — Hoss Sam (@Hoss__Sam) June 27, 2018
May you have friends like Maradona who hold your gut when you're being self-indulgent so you don't fall over pic.twitter.com/uDy8EkxBXS
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) June 26, 2018
Maradona's excessive celebrations even got our King Khan on the edge of his seat. "Uff this Maradona adds so much stress. Love the Nigerian team but have to have Argentina in the play offs. My Phews continue…"
Uff this Maradona adds so much stress. Love the Nigerian team but have to have Argentina in the play offs. My Phews continue… — Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) June 26, 2018
In case you're curious what Mallu commentary sounds like.
But of course, the greatest thing about yesterday's Messi goal was the mallu commentary. "THE LION HAS ARRIVED...LIONEL MESSI...SINGAM...SINGLE A DHAAN VARUM" 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/AEyYHys2SH
— 50 Shades Of Saffron (@atlasdanced) June 27, 2018
You can watch the match highlights here:
(With AFP inputs)