Napoli home named after Maradona


Italy Naples Stadium Armando Diego Maradona approved Image:

The renaming of Stadio San Paolo (Italy) as a tribute to the legendary footballer Late Diego Maradona was approved by the Municipality of Naples on December 4th.

Stadio San Paolo, officially known as Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, is a stadium in the western Fuorigrotta suburb of Naples, Italy, and is the third largest football stadium in Italy, after Milan’s San Siro and Rome’s Stadio Olimpico. It is the home ground of Serie A football team Napoli.

The iconic Argentinian footballer died recently at the age of 60 after suffering a cardiorespiratory arrest. As soon as the news of his death came, a campaign immediately started to rename the stadium in his name as Maradona was instrumental in Italian Serie A football team Napoli clinching two Serie A titles during a memorable seven-year spell from 1984 to 1991.

Diego Armando Maradona was an Argentine professional football player and manager. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, he was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century Award.

Mayor of Naples Luigi de Magistris said that the San Paolo should be renamed after Maradona, who also led Argentina to FIFA World Cup™ glory in 1986. The move required an exemption to a law that stated a street or building can only be renamed after an individual after 10 years have passed since his or her death.

However, an exception was made in the case of the soccer giant Maradona with Naples City Council greenlighting the proposal led by De Magistris and Councilor for Toponymy Alessandra Clemente. The stadium, which is owned by the City, is now Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

The resolution adopted read, “Maradona embodied the redemption symbol of a team which, in the darkest years, demonstrated that it is possible to get up, win and triumph, while offering a message of hope and beauty to the whole City. Through the football victories of the Argentine champion, it was not only the Napoli team that won, but the whole City, which fully identified with him, always on the side of the weakest and the common people.”

The resolution added, “Maradona fought the prejudices and discrimination that the Neapolitans were still subjected to inside the stadiums, becoming the idol of the entire City, which also forgave him the weaknesses and frailties of a man who never overshadowed the greatness of a champion.”

Stadio San Paolo opened in 1959 and has a current capacity of 54,000. The stadium was one of the host venues during the 1990 FIFA World Cup™ in Italy and staged the semi-final between the host nation and Maradona’s Argentina.

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