Napoli's Stadio San Paolo to Be Renamed in Honor of Diego Maradona

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2020

Argentine soccer superstar Diego Armando Maradona cheers after the Napoli team clinched its first Italian major league title in Naples, Italy, on May 10, 1987. Diego Maradona has died. The Argentine soccer great was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity. He was 60. (AP Photo/Massimo Sambucetti, File )
Massimo Sambucetti/Associated Press

The Naples city council voted Friday to rename Stadio San Paolo, the home of Italian football club Napoli, to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in honor of the legendary Argentine striker who died Nov. 25 at age 60.

Maradona played for the Azzurri from 1984 through 1991, helping lead the club to five trophies, including a pair of Serie A titles. Reuters reported the city council approved the resolution brought forward by Naples mayor Luigi de Magistris following the superstar's death. 

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis spoke with Sky Sports Italy about his long-term effort to secure the name change, per Reuters:

"I've been in talks with local authorities for the past 17 years. I've always asked to buy the stadium and rename it 'Diego Armando Maradona.'

"If then, for tradition, we will need to call it both 'San Paolo' and 'Maradona' so be it. It won't change much, but it's only right that Maradona has this recognition. Even if we were to build a whole new stadium, I would name it like that.

"Your years here remain indelible in the memories of the people of Naples—symbolic of a coveted redemption and yearned-for resurrection."

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Maradona was one of the sport's most well-known figures thanks to his talent, his success at the club level and in leading Argentina to a World Cup title in 1986, as well as his larger than life persona.

Napoli are scheduled to host their first match at the newly renamed stadium next Thursday (Dec. 10) when they take on Spanish side Real Sociedad in a Europa League fixture.