To say that Diego Maradona is beloved in Naples is a massive, massive understatement. The legendary player and manager spent seven glorious years with Napoli, leading the club to two Serie A titles and scoring a truckload of goals while he was wearing the blue shirt. While he's understandably better known for his incredible exploits with the Argentina national team, he played more matches and scored more goals for Napoli than he did for any other club in his illustrious career.
So when Maradona visited the city on Wednesday to take in the Coppa Italia semi-final match against Roma, everyone was understandably excited. His arrival at the stadium created a huge buzz, and both second half goals were nearly missed due to virtually every camera in the stadium being aimed his way as he returned to his seat with Antonio De Laurentiis. Thankfully, that also let us catch his reactions to the goals, which were utterly priceless. His joy was palpable, and wonderful to see.
When he was met by a throng of supporters coming out of a restaurant after the match, Maradona didn't just give a polite wave and get back in his car like so many other players would. No, Maradona loves the city and Napoli's fans, so instead he got up in front of them and delivered a toast to those who had gathered to see him. That is the action of a good human being.
Now, Napoli are apparently considering naming Maradona as an official "ambassador" for the club, giving him a role not uncommon to see among English clubs with their legends. In my mind, that can only be a good thing, and I would welcome such an appointment with open arms. We already know that Gonzalo Higuain wanted to come to Napoli in no small part because of Maradona's history here, and being able to have him acting as a club representative spreading further goodwill in Napoli's name will only do more good.