Diego Armando Maradona, the Argentine football legend who led Napoli to their first-ever Italian league championship, was the star of the show as the Serie A club celebrated the 30th anniversary of that feat.
Shortly after accepting honorary citizenship from Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris during Wednesday’s celebrations, the man known in his prime as “El Pibe de Oro” (Golden Boy) addressed a crowd of some 10,000 club supporters in the city’s Plebiscito Square, reports Efe news agency.
Though the reason for the event was the 1987 title, the date was chosen to mark the passage of exactly 33 years since Maradona was first introduced to the Napoli faithful at a packed San Paolo Stadium on July 5, 1984.
Reflecting on his 1984-1991 tenure with the club, Maradona spoke about the racism he and his then teammates experienced at away matches.
“We Neapolitans suffered from racism when we played away from home,” the 56-year-old Argentine said.
The night began with a brief ceremony at city hall for the presentation of the certificate of honorary citizenship.
“When I travel around the world, I always see signs with ‘people who love you don’t forget’ written on them. There are no people who love me as much as you Neapolitans,” Maradona said.
Following the historic 1987 triumph, Napoli went on to win another league crown, a Coppa d’Italia, a UEFA Cup and an Italian Supercup with Maradona.