Napoli renamed home ground Diego Armando Maradona stadium. Italian Serie A side Napoli’s home ground San Paolo stadium has been officially renamed the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium after legendary Argentina attacking midfielder who led the city club to their only two Serie A successful campaigns and the UEFA Cup in their history.
“I’ve been in talks with local authorities for the past 17 years, I’ve always asked to buy the stadium and rename it ‘Diego Armando Maradona Stadium’,” Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis told.
The home ground of Napoli’s San Paolo will see its name changed to honour the legendary Argentinian midfielder, who passed away at the age of 60 due to a heart attack.
Diego Armando Maradona Stadium
The city council of Naples has approved a forward resolution that will change the name of Napoli’s home stadium from Stadio San Paolo to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in a step to honour one of the greatest players of all-time in football.
The resolution to change San Paolo’s name was proposed by Naples mayor Luigi De Magistris only hours after the news circulated in the air that Maradona had passed away at age 60.
Diego Armando Maradona is a revered figure and loved in Naples after leading the city’s club to their only two Serie A titles and the UEFA Cup during his seven-year illustrious period with Napoli from 1984 to 1991.
“With his immense talent and his magic, he honoured the Napoli shirt for seven years, giving it two historical championships and other prestigious cups, and receiving in exchange from the whole city an eternal and unconditional love,” a statement from the council read.
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The statement from the council also noted the connection Naples city shared with Maradona, who was raised and grown in poverty in his hometown Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“Through the football victories of the Argentine champion, it was not only the Napoli team that won but the whole city, which fully identifies with him,” it read.
“Always on the side of the weakest and the common people, Maradona fought the prejudices and discrimination that Neapolitans were still subjected to inside the stadiums, becoming the idol of the entire city.”
Napoli lined up in ‘Maradona 10’
However, Napoli had the chance to pay tribute to their legendary Diego Armando Maradona during their Europa League match at San Paolo against Rijeka. Captain Lorenzo Insigne laid a wreath before kick-off, while the Napoli team lined up and appeared in ‘Maradona 10’ shirts in homage to pay tribute.
After the game, which Napoli easily won 2-0, forward Dries Mertens told: “It was an awful moment for me, so I can only imagine how those who lived through his time at Napoli must have felt.”
“He made such a big impact on this city and for everyone in the south of Italy. I want to be positive and focus on my memories of a smiling man who loved football. It was tough to pull that shirt on. In some ways, it was always a dream, but not like this.”
The final step in the stadium’s name change will be the authorisation of the Prefect of the Province of Naples, which is expected to be a formality and -San Paolo will see its name changed to honour one of the most prolific footballers in the history of football – Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.