Maradona: Neapolitans' God (D10S)
1984, July 5th, St.Paul Stadium (renamed Maradona Stadium in 2020): 80.000 Neapolitans celebrate the Pibe de Oro (The gilded guy) arrival what modified forever the football pride of the town, even before ‘O rre’ (the King in Neapolitan dialect) kicked his first ball in the so called bright blue city!
Since then the story of the local football team became glorious with the victory in two national championships, in 1987 and 1990 and, at the same time, Diego actually was turned into an idol, a kind of god (after which the famous word pun “D10S”: a mix of the Spanish word “Dios” (God) where the letters “I” and “O” were replaced by the soccer T-shirt number he wore!).
So there was a new brand reason for Neapolitan people to express the excess that is such a representative aspect of our character: for example, he was “sanctified” when he was still alive through a shrine and a relic (some of his hair…) still visible in Caffè Nilo along Spaccanapoli…
The top celebration came anyway with his death: in these two last years some Naples’ corners have totally changed their aspect and Maradona’s face has become like a logo, an identifying element visible almost everywhere and a new business as well, a touristic attraction and the expression of a deep (sometimes excessive) connection.
Magnets, little statues in the Nativity Scenes street (but this already happened long before his death) and many, many murals.
The unmissable one is the mural in the Spanish Quarters: to easily find it, enter Emanuele De Deo street from Toledo street and go up until a small and colorful square where there is a memorial to him and where you can enjoy depictions of other Neapolitans celebrities and of famous city artworks.
Via S. Biagio dei Librai (Spaccanapoli)
Mural of Maradona
Via Emanuele De Deo, 46 (Spanish District)