BREAKING NEWS
This content is not available in your region

Maradona's death is 'about more than football' for this Napoli fan

Access to the comments Comments
By Emma Beswick
euronews_icons_loading
A child plays with a football in front of Naples' Royal Palace, which has a photo of Maradona hanging on it. Nov. 27, 2020.
A child plays with a football in front of Naples' Royal Palace, which has a photo of Maradona hanging on it. Nov. 27, 2020.   -   Copyright  Alessandra Tarantino/AP
Text size Aa Aa

The legacy of Diego Maradona means more to Neapolitan Carlo than just football.

"I grew up in Napoli and we are raised in Napoli with bread and Maradona," he told Euronews.

Carlo said the Argentine superstar's story was passed down to him from his grandfather and father, who showed him videos of his matches. He plans to impart the same message on his two young sons.

The loss of the Maradona earlier this week was felt profoundly in the southern Italian city where Carlo was born and raised — here he has a godlike status for the impact he made over seven seasons playing for SSC Napoli.

"I grew up like with this idea in my mind, this idea of Maradona is the hero of the of people. Maradona came to Napoli and made me made Neapolitan people be proud again of the Neapolitan identity that was stolen many centuries ago," he said.

For the Italian, who now lives in France, Maradona is a symbol of "how can you fall and how can you rise up", which he has immortalised with a tattoo of the player on his leg.

"He died ten times and then came back to life eleven times. And honestly, for us, it's impossible that Maradona will die. His memory and what he stood for is eternal," Carlo said.

To his critics, the Italian says the footballer's perceived flaws only really affected him and not anyone else.

"He had a crazy life. He might not be the greatest human ever because he made bad choices. A lot of people criticise him because of his addiction to cocaine, because of his cheating on his wives, his bond with the Mafia - but people have to understand he made those bad choices and they affected himself only," Carlo explained.

But he added that he wouldn't want his two sons to grow up like Maradona, who he describes as "living in chaos, but a genius".