Maradona it never went unnoticed throughout his career. On and off the court. He lived unforgettable moments in all the clubs he passed through: Argentinos, Boca, Barcelona … Not to mention the National Team.
But without a doubt, his time in Naples marked him for life. There, he left an indelible stamp despite the passage of time. He arrived as a man, a footballer with enormous talent who excited an entire city. But nobody imagined what would come next.
The Neapolitans, and the Italians, it must be said, enjoyed an immense Maradona. Arrival to Napoli as a player, he left like a true God.
His presentation took place on July 5, 1984, where he was received in a San Paolo full of fans. The illusion of having a figure like Maradona was no small thing for Napoli, who in the previous season had just saved himself from relegation.
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In that 1984/1985 season, Napoli had an acceptable campaign, but was far from fighting for the first places. Until the next tournament, the leadership renewed the squad. And things changed. Little by little a team with pretensions was being put together, which had Maradona as its central figure.
May 10, 1987 will remain in the history of the Neapolitans, when the South Italian team conquered the first Scudetto in its history. On the penultimate date, at the San Paolo stadium, Napoli drew 1-1 with Fiorentina and lifted the title. That year, he also won the Italian Cup.
Between 1984 and 1991, until he left the club, he won two Scudettos (1986/1987 and 1989/1990), an Italian Cup (1987) and an Italian Super Cup (1990), in addition to the UEFA Cup in 1988/1989. . He scored 115 goals in 259 games.
His passage through Napoli was much more than the presence of a huge soccer player. Maradona marked the contrasts between the powerful North and the humble South like no one else. And for a while, with the ball in between, he not only put Napoli on a par with the greatest: in many moments, he surpassed them.
The 1990 World Cup in Italy marked those differences like never before. Maradona was insulted in the North, but idolized in the South. As shown in the images from the World Cup semifinal, where 10 loudly insulted the fans from the North who were whistling the Argentine anthem.
In Napoli it was God. He lived successful years from sports, and at the same time he had a suffocating life there, where so much idolatry did not allow him to even move from his house. At every step he took, hundreds of fans were with him. Always.
Today, the Neapolitan streets were also filled with people, this time to accompany him in the final farewell.