San Paolo will be renamed to commemorate the iconic figure who passed away at the age of 60 last week.
A resolution that would change the name of Napoli’s home stadium from Stadio San Paolo to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona was unanimously approved by the Naples city council.
Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris submitted the resolution just hours after the news that Maradona had passed away at the age of 60 last week.
After leading the town’s club to two Serie A titles during his seven-year run with Napoli from 1984 to 1991, Maradona is a revered figure in Naples.
“With his incredible skill and his magic, he honored the Napoli shirt for seven years, giving it two historical championships as well as other prestigious cups, and receiving in exchange from the whole city an everlasting and unconditional love,” a statement from the council reads.
The statement also acknowledged the link shared by the working-class city with Maradona, who in his native Buenos Aires was raised in poverty.
“Through the football victories of the Argentine champion, it was not only the Napoli team that can win but the whole city, that also 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.”
During their Europa League match at home against Rijeka, Napoli had the opportunity to pay tribute to Maradona last week. Before kick-off, Captain Lorenzo Insigne laid a wreath as the Napoli players lined up in ‘Maradona 10’ jerseys.
Following the game that Napoli won 2-0, forward Dries Mertens told Sky Sport Italia, “It was a horrible moment for me, so I can only imagine how those who lived in Napoli during their time had to feel.”
He has had such a huge effect on this city and on everyone in southern Italy. I want to be optimistic and reflect on the memories I have of a smiling man who loved football. Pulling the shirt on was difficult. It was still a fantasy in some ways, but not like this.
The final step in changing the name of the stadium would be the approval of the Prefect of the Province of Naples, which is supposed to constitute a formality.