Milan – Napoli honored the Argentine legend Diego Armando Maradona on the anniversary of his departure in the best possible way, by being alone at the top of the Italian football league, after he swept its guest Lazio 4-0 in the fourteenth stage on Sunday with a double for his historic Belgian top scorer Dries Mertens, taking advantage of Milan’s second fall at home 3 -1 against Sassuolo.
The southern team returned to victories in the league after a loss and a draw, raising its score to 35 points, three ahead of the Rossoneri.
And the world of football commemorated the one-year anniversary of the departure of the “golden boy” at the age of 60 on Thursday, November 25, but Napoli honored his icon among his fans with a bronze statue that will remain in the stadium that bears his name, revealed by Corrado Ferlino (90 years), the former president. For the club that signed Maradona in 1984.
The ceremony was attended by the President of the International Federation of Football “FIFA”, Swiss Gianni Infantino, the President of the Italian Federation for the game Gabriele Gravina, and the 2006 World Champion Fabio Cannavaro, who grew up in the Naples Academy.
And there was a word from the great Brazilian football, Pele (81 years), who often enters with Maradona in an argument over the title of the best footballer in history, broadcast on the screen in the stadium, in which he said, “You know the love and respect I have for Maradona. Now I have the opportunity to tell everyone We can’t forget a great player like him. He was a friend and I’m sure he deserves this concert in Naples.”
The players wore T-shirts imprinted with Maradona’s image, the third of its kind produced by the club since the death of its legend.
The people of Naples still see Maradona, the 1986 world champion, as a goddess, having led a mediocre team at the time to its only two domestic league titles in 1987 and 1990 and the European Cup (currently the Europa League) in 1989, despite his reputation being tarnished in His last years in southern Italy, after his drug abuse and association with the Italian mafia, muddied his controversial career, before returning to Buenos Aires in 1991.
The players entered to warm up before the match to the effect of the song “Live is Live”, which reminds of one of Maradona’s most beautiful videos when he manipulates the ball during the warm-up.
Martens said after the victory, “We gave one of our best performances, and the important thing now is that you always play like this, because you need to repeat such performances. The way we played today was perfect.”
Napoli healed his wounds after two tough consecutive losses at home and continental last week against Inter, the first in the league, and Spartak Moscow in Russia in the European League “European League” on Wednesday, to complicate the task of qualifying for the playoffs before a round of the end of the group stage.
Napoli lost their Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen, who is expected to be out for three months, after suffering a fracture in his left cheek and eye socket after a strong clash in the head with Inter Slovakian player Milan Skriniar.
As for Lazio, whose score froze at 21 points in eighth place, they entered the match after an easy 3-0 victory in Russia over Lokomotiv Moscow in the same competition on Thursday, after falling against Juventus in the league last week.
Peter Zielinski opened the scoring in the seventh minute after the defense broke the ball from Mertens inside the area to reach the Polish player, who followed it with a missile left in the net.
Mertens scored the second goal for coach Luciano Spalletti’s team when he reached the ball on the outskirts of the area from Lorenzo Insigne, penetrated inside and brilliantly dribbled the defenders before he settled the ball to the left of the Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina (10).
And Maurizio Sarri’s men almost reduced the difference with a superb shot on the bird from the Spaniard Luis Alberto from outside the area, the Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina flew to it to take it to a corner, and from the resulting ball hit the header of Francesco Acerbi on the crossbar (26).
Mertens scored the third goal in a wonderful way when Mexican Hirving Lozano passed a ball to him from the right side to the outskirts of the areas, followed quickly by one touch falling towards the top right corner of the goal (29).
Napoli continued to dominate in the second half, and Lazio did not take a shot before the Spaniard Fabian Royce scored the fourth goal with a superb shot from outside the area in the lower right corner (85).