Diego Maradona fans gather in Naples to pay tribute to their hero
The people of Naples have started to pay their respects for Diego Maradona
Few places in the world will feel the passing of Diego Maradona quite like the city of Naples.
Maradona's six-year stint with Napoli saw the club transformed from unfashionable Serie A also-rans to two-time champions. They had never been champions of Italy before he arrived; they have never been champions of Italy since he left. The Argentine was undoubtedly the catalyst for their success and, nearly three decades on from his abrupt departure from the club, is idolised in the city for the role he played.
News of his death on Wednesday saw countless Napoli supporters take to the streets to pay their tributes. Many chose to gather outside the Stadio San Paolo, the club's ground, where banners featuring Maradona's face were unfurled and candles were lit.
Elsewhere, in the suburb of San Giovanni a Teduccio, supporters set off fireworks and flares in front of the large mural of him on the side of a tower block.
Fans in Naples pay tribute to Diego Maradona pic.twitter.com/NN56gLBltz
— James Dart (@James_Dart) November 25, 2020
There were similar scenes closer to the centre, as supporters gathered around another painting in the Spanish Quarter.
Residents of Naples mourning the death of Napoli Legend, World Cup Winner, and Greatest of all time Diego Maradona. pic.twitter.com/rNWIZ6susf
— Pushkal Kesri (@kesri_pushkal) November 26, 2020
Soon after the news of his death was confirmed, Naples mayor Luigi De Magistris called for the San Paolo to be named after Maradona.
"Let's name the San Paolo after Diego," he said, adding: “Diego made our people dream, he redeemed Naples with his genius.”
Napoli play their first game in the stadium since Maradona's death in a Europa League meeting with Rijeka on Thursday.