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Napoli president wants San Pao...
Soccer

Napoli president wants San Paolo stadium renamed in honour of Maradona

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15:21 26 Nov 2020

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis wants to see the club's San Paolo stadium renamed in honour of Diego Maradona. 

The 60-year old died on Wednesday in Tigre following a heart attack.

Maradona captained Napoli to a pair of Serie A titles during his time at the club, and De Laurentiis has added to the calls for the stadium he graced to be named after him.

"We are already putting it together this morning, taking the first steps to dedicate Naples’ stadium to Maradona,” city mayor Luigi De Magistris said.

"It’s a process but it will be a quick process, because when there is such a strong desire there’s nothing that will hold us up.

"We’re hoping to make it coincide with the resumption of games with fans."

The San Paolo has become a place of pilgrimage for Napoli fans left stunned by the sudden death of their idol.

Since his arrival in 1984, Maradona's face has been a permanent fixture around the city with several murals painted in his honour.

Maradona's body is lying in state at Buenos Aires' Casa Rosada, with thousands filing past to pay their respects.

Three days of national mourning are underway in Argentina, while the scenes in Naples are not much different.

"Your years here remain indelible in the memories of the people of Naples," De Laurentiis wrote in an open letter, "Symbolic of a coveted redemption and yearned-for resurrection.

"Thank you, Diego. You are, and will always be, with all of us."

Aurelio De Laurentiis letter: 

Dear Diego,

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.

Aurelio De Laurentiis

Gerry Armstrong | Playing against Maradona & partying with Diego

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Aurelio De Laurentiis Buenos Aires Diego Maradona Maradona Naples Napoli San Paolo San Paolo Stadium

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