NAPLES, Italy (Reuters) – Fans paid tribute to Diego Armando Maradona as he marched to Napoli Stadium on Thursday to mourn a man who had received God-like status in the Italian city where he played his best soccer.
Minimal Argentine left Naples almost 30 years ago, but his spirit never waned, even though a huge mural of him still gazes at the crowded streets and his photographs are placed in shop windows with images of saints.
Hundreds of blue and white Napoli scarves were attached to the railings outside the stadium, and flowers, children’s pictures, church candles and a bottle of wine were also placed on the pavement in the fast-spreading, makeshift temple.
“He was unique, he presented everything, everything was neopolitical for us,” fan Jeannie Tiro told Reuters, while fan Jeannie Tiro told Reuters while looking at the huge picture of Maradona, which adorns the facade of a group of 10-storey apartments.
“I’ve only cried for a few people in my life, and Diego is one of them,” I Tarot said.
News of Maradona’s death on Wednesday led thousands of stunned neopolitans to the evening streets, denying coronavirus lockdown, and showed no sign of easing as the day broke.
“The whole city of Naples died together with Argentina yesterday,” said Lorenzo Rubino, 26, who was not even born when Maradona played for Napoli. “I haven’t cried since my mother died two years ago.”
Maradona came to Naples, a city plagued by sunshine and superstition, in 1984 when he was 23 years old for a world record .5 7.5 million contract at the time. Over the next seven years, he helped Napoli win perennial underdogs in their only two Serie A titles and their only major European trophy.
When he was flown by helicopter for his official presentation, 75,000 people stood in the stadium to watch him. After that, Match-Day was a special day in the lives of many.
“When I was born, Dad didn’t come to the hospital because he stayed in the stadium until the end of the game,” said Teresa de Lucia.
City Mayor Luigi de Magistrates has vowed to rename the city stadium in honor of Maradona.
“He loved Naples and through football he wanted to tell the world what Naples is, a city full of humanity, full of heart, strength and imagination. Volcanoes for better or worse, ”the mayor told RTL Radio.
Written by Crispian Ballmer, edited by Timothy Heritage
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