Soccer / world cup

Naples: City of Diego (Part II)
SourceIn the mid-80s Napoli was a half-board team in Italy, with no name and hardly ambition. But city and team were held in the wake of an idol that still lives in every corner of Naples. This is the story of the relationship between a man and a city that only stops when a name is cited: Diego Armando Maradona. Naples: City of Diego (Part I) Maradona takes Napoli to glory. Source All Naples knew that with Diego they had something else, that extra that would lead them to greatness. That was the great virtue of Maradona, multiplied the talent of others. Throughout history there have been great players who are like the icing on the cake; but Maradona was not the icing on the cake, it was the complete cake. May 10, 1987. The atmosphere in the city of Naples was indescribable. People crying with joy in the streets, there were more than a million happy Neapolitans who went out to celebrate, no incident in a moment of total communion never seen before. The reason? Diego Armando Maradona had led Napoli to become the Serie A champion for the first time in their history. Naples was on the cover of every newspaper in the world and for the first time it was not for something bad. Maradona represented the sports hero, but at the same time it was the symbol that something good could be achieved in a despised city. He showed that, although in something ephemeral as football is, it was also possible to win in Naples as in any other city in Italy. He transformed in virtue what others considered defects. At that time, Maradona could easily have been the mayor of Naples. Everything he said, for citizens was an order. In 1989 Napoli won the UEFA Cup, its first and only European trophy in its history. A few years later they achieved their second and, to date, last Scudetto. But if 1990 kept an important event, that was the World Cup that was held in Italy. The city of Naples would host one of the semifinals of the tournament, which would face the local Italy with Argentina Maradona. The day before the match, from all over Italy, an appeal was made to the Neapolitan people: "Neapolitans, support Italy". But Diego said: "Now they remember Naples? The Neapolitans are Italian, but does Italy know? Only the day before of Argentina - Italy remember Naples and the Neapolitans? During the rest of the year they do not remember Naples. " Those words of Maradona awakened the conscience of the Neapolitans, he touched the heart of the fans. Source When the Italian national team arrived in Naples, they found a divided crowd. They did not know if they supported Maradona or supported Italy, and the players of the National Team felt that. But the reality is that all Naples supported Argentina, because Maradona was their god. The match ended with a 1-1 draw and there were no goals in the extra time, the finalist would be defined in the penalty shootout. Penalties came and went in an infamous definition, until Sergio Goycochea stopped Serena's shot and Argentina went to the World Cup final. Italy was not going to easily forget that defeat and four days later it would be proven. The decline of the idol. Rome hosts the final of the World Cup, the Argentine anthem sounds while the Italian fans whistle without mercy to Maradona. The truth is that they had nothing against Argentina, they whistled was to Naples. For Diego it was the greatest pain he had ever felt in his entire life, because he thought that in Italy he had left an important legacy and that this did not deserve it. It was a moment that all Italians should feel ashamed of. Source Argentina lost the final 1-0 against Germany and the tears of Maradona were the tears of Naples. The reality is that this final represented the breaking point between Maradona and Italian football. And also, unfortunately, between Maradona and Napoli. He was a Diego who was angry with the world, he was possessed by drugs. Like someone who does not want to hear anything that could break the charm or awaken from the dream, Naples had been looking the other way every time the name of his idol was associated with the night, with cocaine. On one occasion the club president asked him: "Diego, have you consumed anything this week? Because if you consume something from the games, it appears in the anti-doping test ". Maradona, with the security and imprudence that characterizes him, replied: "No, I have not consumed anything." On March 17, 1991, after a Napoli - Bari, Maradona tested positive for cocaine and was suspended for 15 months. It was a Monday, April 1, 1991, a holiday, and Diego simply got into his car and escaped. It was the saddest day in the history of Naples, it was how to lose a family member who left without saying goodbye. He deserved to go on a red carpet, like a big Hollywood star; instead, I escape at night as if I were a thief. He did not have the courage to say to the Neapolitans, to that people who loved him so much: "Gentlemen, I am guilty. Forgive me. " He decided to simply vanish like someone who was never there, a real pity. Almost 30 years ago that sad farewell but in Naples, when they mention Maradona, it seems that it was yesterday. He became immortal, the truth is that he never left there. You only need to take a little walk today to understand that Diego never left Naples. Because the hotel room where he lived continues as he left it. Because the table where he ate and the dish he liked most today bear his name. Because the streets of the city are named after him. Because his name is heard in the streets. Because there is a tomb in honor of all those dead who did not have the happiness of seeing him play in Naples. Because the University keeps thinking about him and the impact he had on the city. Because the conversations continue to name him. And because a statue of more than 2,000 years does not have much to do in front of an altar made in honor of him. Source