Naples (Italy) (AFP) – Napoli players took to the pitch wearing a special Argentina-inspired jersey on Sunday in honour of club legend Diego Maradona, who died aged 60 on Wednesday, for their Serie A game against Roma.
The jersey with white and light blue vertical stripes, was specially designed to pay tribute to Napoli’s legendary number 10 who led the club to their only league titles in 1987 and 1990 and the UEFA Cup in 1989.
Players also wore black armbands, with a minute’s silence observed before the game, as in all matches in Italy, in memory of Maradona who spent seven years at Napoli.
A photo of the former Argentina star was projected onto giant screens in the 10th minute, as players stopped to applaud.
The launch of this new jersey had already been planned before Maradona’s death, Napoli said.
“A year ago, together with Kappa, we thought of designing a special jersey that echoes Diego Maradona, his beloved Argentina and the very strong bond with the people of Naples,” the club said in a statement.
“Together we hoped that Diego could see it, maybe wear it and share in the excitement with us.
“The presentation of the new kit had already been agreed for the ninth matchday of the championship, on the occasion of the SSC Napoli-Roma match.
“The shirt that will be worn by the players tonight will have an even greater significance than initially assumed.”
On Thursday, Napoli players took to the pitch wearing Maradona’s iconic number 10 jersey before their 2-0 Europa League win over Croatian side Rijeka.
The Stadio San Paolo is expected to soon be renamed after the 1986 World Cup winner following a suggestion made by the Mayor of Napoli.
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