Everything revolved around the Europa League game against Rijeka in Naples yesterday. Image: www.imago-images.de
Napoli fans say goodbye to Maradona with a huge pyro show
Before the Europa League match against HNK Rijeka, the SSC Napoli fans said goodbye to their late football god Diego Armando Maradona with a crazy pyro show in front of the San Paolo stadium. The torchlight procession of the Ultras, of which an epic drone recording was soon broadcast on Twitter, went almost completely around the stadium, which, according to Naples’ mayor, could soon be renamed the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
“Ho visto Maradona” was sung by the Tifosi, who gathered by the thousands in front of the stadium and once again commemorated their great idol. As during the day, many came to lay flowers, jerseys and pictures in front of the gates of Maradona’s former venue. Candles were lit everywhere, most of them just in time for the game to start.
Unlike in Buenos Aires, where the police had to use tear gas at Maradona’s funeral because some fans forced their way into the government palace, the evening in Naples was calm. The distance rules were practically nowhere observed, but most of the pilgrims in front of the Stadio San Paolo wore protective masks.
The torchlight procession in front of the Stadio San Paolo. Image: www.imago-images.de
The area around the stadium shone completely in red. Image: www.imago-images.de
Cell phones were pulled out everywhere to capture the spectacle. Image: www.imago-images.de
Most of the fans wore protective masks. Image: www.imago-images.de
Even some of the players around Captain Lorenzo Insigne appeared in front of the stadium before the duel against Rijeka and laid a wreath of flowers in memory of the greatest Napoli player of all time.
Spectators were not allowed in due to the Corona regulations, but later everything in the stadium was also characterized by mourning for Diego Maradona. While the two teams were warming up, the pop classic “Live is life” was recorded by Opus, to which “El Diez” once delivered an unforgettable show.
Like everywhere else, a minute’s silence was observed in Naples before the game. All the players and also the staff members of Napoli wore Maradona’s jersey with the number 10. In the team photo, the Napoli professionals held a jersey of the city’s most famous son in the cameras.
Maradona was omnipresent even during the game: Diego was the only spectator in the ghostly empty San Paolo. A picture of him was constantly faded in on the display board and in honor of the “Pibe de Oro”, at least the LED boards were not advertised for once.
Maradona was omnipresent in Naples yesterday Image: www.imago-images.de
During the minute of silence, all Napoli players wore a Maradona jersey with the number 10. image:
Without words. Image: keystone
Maradona watched his successors for the full 90 minutes. Image: keystone
The game itself became a minor matter. Thanks to an own goal from Rijeka’s Armando Anastasio (what an irony!) And a goal from Hirving Lozano, Napoli won 2-0. Maradona would surely have liked that.
After three wins in a row, Napoli is now at the top of Group F despite the opening defeat against Alkmaar and the goal is clearer than ever after Maradona’s death: to win the Europa League. Like in 1989, when Diego led the “Partenopei” to the only international title to date.
“Since the news of Diego’s death you could see that the city breathed a different atmosphere,” said Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso after the game: “We hope to dedicate something important to him and to win a trophy. In this city we have only talked about it for too many years. “
More on Maradona’s death:
Diego Maradona is dead – the life of the «hand of God» in pictures
The world mourns Diego Maradona
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