• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Naples died with Maradona, Napoli fans say after death of Argentina soccer legend

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

VIDEO SHOWS: VIEW OF MURAL BY ARTIST JORIT DEPICTING SOCCER LEGEND DIEGO ARMANDO MARADONA , FANS IN NAPLES PAYING TRIBUTE TO MARADONA, NAPLES RESIDENTS COMMENTING ON DEATH OF MARADONA

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT

SHOWS: NAPLES, ITALY (NOVEMBER 26, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. MURAL BY ARTIST JORIT DEPICTING MARADONA

2. CARS DRIVING IN FRONT OF MURAL

3. MAN TAKING PHOTOGRAPH OF MURAL

4. MURAL

5. CANDLES AND FLOWERS WITH NOTE READING (Italian) "THANKS FOR EVERYTHING"

6. MURAL / FLOWERS AND CANDLES

7. WOMAN TAKING PHOTOGRAPH OF MURAL

8. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) NAPLES RESIDENT, GIANNI AUTIERO, SAYING:

"He was unique, he represented everything, everything for us Neapolitans. He gave us so much satisfaction. Over many years Naples has often been humiliated, both on a sporting and human level. He was a simple person like us. I cried for only a few people in my life and Diego is one of them."

8. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) NAPLES RESIDENT, LORENZO RUBINO, SAYING:

"Yesterday not only he died. Yesterday the entire city of Naples died together with Argentina. There are no words. I hadn't cried since my mother's death two years ago, and after my mother only Diego made me cry. For us he was immortal, he was like a superhero who never dies."

9. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) NAPLES RESIDENT, TERESA DE LUCIA, SAYING:

"We were born with the legend of Diego in the family. Our parents used to go to the stadium and dad always told us about him. I was born on March 20, 1983, it was a Sunday and dad did not come to the hospital when I was born because he stayed at the stadium until the end of the game to watch Diego play. My dad came to the hospital to celebrate my birth only after the end of the match. He really meant everything."

10. BANNER READING (Italian) "BYE DIEGO"

11. YOUNG PEOPLE TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS OF MURAL

12. MURAL /BANNER READING (Italian) "BYE DIEGO"

13. DETAIL OF MURAL

14. VIEW OF NAPLES AND MURAL

STORY: Naples residents on Thursday (November 26) paid a tearful tribute to soccer legend Diego Maradona: not only a soccer genius but an immortal superhero who sometime was more important than the birth of a child.

"He was unique, he represented everything, everything for us Neapolitans", fan Gianni Autiero told Reuters while tearfully looking at a huge mural by street artist Jorit.

"I cried for a few people in my life and Diego is one of them," Autiero said.

Beloved in his homeland after leading Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 and adored in Italy for taking Napoli to two Serie A titles, Maradona was a uniquely gifted player who rose from the tough streets of Buenos Aires to reach the pinnacle of his sport.

Even if Naples is currently a coronavirus 'red zone', meaning people are not allowed to leave their homes unless there is an emergency, some residents briefly left their home to leave flowers or lit a candle for their adored hero.

Lorenzo Rubino, 26, never saw Maradona play but it didn't matter, his grief was visible.

"Yesterday the entire city of Naples died, together with Argentina," Rubino said.

"I hadn't cried since my mother's death two years ago," he said.

Maradona, who turned 60 at the end of October, moved to Napoli in 1984 for a then world-record $7.5 million contract. He helped underdogs Napoli to the Italian title twice - creating a whole new set of adoring fans in the process.

The love of the city was so unique and he meant so much that some parents even missed the birth of their children.

"I was born on March 20, 1983, it was a Sunday and dad did not come to the hospital when I was born because he stayed at the stadium until the end of the game to watch Diego play," Teresa De Lucia said.

"My dad came to the hospital to celebrate my birth only after the end of the match".

The city is practically a shrine to the soccer star and the mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris, called for the team's stadium to be renamed after the player.

Maradona had recently battled health issues and underwent emergency surgery for a subdural haematoma several weeks ago.

He suffered a heart attack at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires on Wednesday (November 25), Argentinian media and acquaintances of the former player said.

(Production: Yara Nardi, Gabriele Pileri, Cristiano Corvino, Fabiano Franchitti)