‘Napoli to win Italian title’ makes Maradona’s 60th birthday wish list

Milan (AFP) – Argentina legend Diego Maradona put former club Napoli ending their three-decade wait to win the Italian league title on his birthday wish list as he turned 60 on Friday.

Maradona, who led Napoli to their only two Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990, celebrated his birthday in self-isolation to protect himself from the coronavirus pandemic.

“What gift would I like to have? Nothing for me. I wish this murderous pandemic would go away, yes,” the former World Cup winner wrote in an open letter in Corriere Dello Sport. 

“I wish that here in Argentina as in many, too many, other parts of the world, the viruses of hunger and lack of work that devour people’s dignity were also defeated. 

“And then, since I just can’t stop talking about football, I would like my Gimnasia, who are close to returning to the pitch, to win the championship again after 90 years or more. 

“And if it is true that there is no two without three, I would like Napoli to win another Scudetto soon too.”

Maradona spent seven glorious years at the southern Italian club between 1984 and 1991, during which he also lifted the 1989 UEFA Cup, Napoli’s only European title.

Napoli won the Coppa Italia last season, their first trophy in six years, under new coach Gennaro Gattuso and are currently second in Serie A.

“Dear Gattuso, go on like this, with your determination and your ability to play football,” Maradona told the Italian former World Cup winner.

“I cheer for you and I want to tell you something: there are people who boast of having played for Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus. 

“I am proud to have been part of Napoli. I hope one day you can say that too.”

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