The Saviour in Training
30 years ago Maradona arrived in Naples – it was never the same again

Diego Maradona

 

Our latest shot is of Argentine soccer superstar Diego Armando Maradona (centre) seen here training with his new Napoli teammates in the mountain resort of Castel del Piano in central Italy on July 27th 1984.

Maradona was transferred from Barcelona to Napoli with ambitious president Corrado Ferlaino forking out a then world-record £6.9 million.

At that time there was a huge North/South divide in Italy economically, and teams from the north – such as Juventus, Roma, AC and Inter of Milan – dominated domestic football.

Maradona gave people hope and his impact on the area simply cannot be overstated. After his signing was officially announced a local newspaper proclaimed that despite the lack of a “mayor, houses, schools, buses, employment and sanitation, none of this matters because we have Maradona.”

In his time there Napoli won the league twice and were runners-up twice. It’s important to remember that before Maradona arrived in Naples no team from the south of Italy had EVER won the Italian league title.

He finished as the clubs all-time leading scorer with 115 goals and in honour of his achievements the number 10 shirt was later retired by Napoli.

(AP Photo/Massimo Sambucetti)

 

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