Napoli Renames Stadium for Diego Maradona

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From now on, Napoli will be playing in Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

The Serie A club's stadium was renamed by the Naples City Council on Friday, moving on from Stadio San Paolo to honor the memory of the late Argentine icon. Maradona died last week from a heart attack at age 60.

Maradona is a legend in Naples, where he spent part of his playing career and led Napoli to its greatest heights. Napoli won its only two Serie A titles while he was at the club, and it also claimed the 1989 UEFA Cup title with Maradona in uniform.

"With his immense talent and his magic, he honored the Napoli shirt for seven years, giving it two historical championships and other prestigious cups, and receiving in exchange from the whole city an eternal and unconditional love," the City Council wrote in a statement. "Through the football victories of the Argentine champion, it was not only the Napoli team that won but the whole city, which fully identifies with him.

"Always on the side of the weakest and the common people, Maradona fought the prejudices and discrimination that Neapolitans were still subjected to inside the stadiums, becoming the idol of the entire city."

The club wrote a brief statement on Friday, expressing its pride in the decision.

"SSC Napoli is delighted about today's decision by the Naples City Council to rename the Stadio San Paolo in memory of Diego Armando Maradona," it wrote.

Upon Maradona's death, the city mayor proposed naming the stadium after him as a tribute, and it was approved after about a week.

“Maradona is Napoli. The passion for him here is known to everyone,” mayor Luigi De Magistris said. “Maradona united Neapolitans all over the world — as well as fans of other squads. Today all Neapolitans embrace his family, with the awareness that this embrace will never end,” the mayor added. “Because it was real love. A great love.”

“Yes, he was also a controversial man,” De Magistris said. “But for us Maradona is the one who made Naples and Neapolitans dream — with his genius, his uniqueness, he gave us happiness. Many have named their sons Diego, for he was able to redeem a city that was often the target of prejudices and discrimination.”

Tributes to Maradona have poured in from all over the world, from moments of silence to moments of applause to individual players dedicating goals, warmups and other elements of the game to a player widely considered to be among the greatest of all time.

Napoli is the second club to have its stadium named after Maradona, following his first club in his native Argentina, Argentinos Juniors.