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Napoli president De Laurentiis backs renaming stadium after Maradona

The Argentina icon, who won two Serie A titles with the Naples club, was a “unique, inimitable champion”, according to the Italian team’s boss

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis says it would be “right” to rename the club’s stadium in honour of club legend Diego Maradona following his death on Wednesday. 

Maradona – widely considered to be one of football’s greatest ever players – died at the age of 60 after a suspected heart attack. 

A World Cup winner with Argentina, Maradona enjoyed stunning success in Naples, where he guided Napoli to unprecedented Serie A glory in 1986-87 and 1989-90 – the Italian team are yet to add to their only two Scudetto honours.

As Napoli fans and Naples natives mourn the death of Maradona, De Laurentiis confirmed the Stadio San Paolo is likely to be named after the football icon.

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In a letter written to Maradona on Napoli’s official website, De Laurentiis said: “You leave us with a great testament of what it means to be a man of fragility, strength and absolute love for life and one’s neighbour. A unique, inimitable champion.

“Your weaknesses, your imperfections, your mistakes are tantamount to your immense greatness, though none of that compares to your legend.

“Many have said you represent the synthesis of genius and unruliness. An artist of the beautiful game, your unique brushstrokes are to be remembered in the pantheon of the greatest exponents. Like a restless work of Caravaggio, whose indomitable and unruly nature is forgiven for its immense greatness.

“I believe it is right to name the San Paolo after you, so we can keep you with us as a witness of the excellent path this team has taken.

“Your years here remain indelible in the memories of the people of Naples – symbolic of a coveted redemption and yearned-for resurrection. Thank you, Diego. You are, and will always be, with all of us.”

Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for BarcelonaSevilla and Newell’s Old Boys, as well as Napoli, before returning to Boca in 1995.

Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed head coach by Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata last year.




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