Unpacking Naples’ Obsession with Football Legend Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona Mural in Naples Quartieri Spagnoli

I was lucky to write a guest post for Hostelworld.com about Naples’ obsession with football (or soccer) legend, Diego Maradona. 

It’s an interesting story that didn’t make sense to me at first. Maradona is looked at as a deity. As I said in the article, the man was hardly a role model. Never mind his drug addiction. Take someone who grew up in poverty and discriminated-against, then give them millions and treat them like a god – of course they’re gonna party too hard and for too long. Beyond that, taking from the Steve Jobs playbook, Maradona was fond of denying paternity to numerous children while being worth millions. So why was I seeing the man’s face all over the beautiful city of Napoli and children wearing jerseys bearing his name?

In sum – it’s complicated. After spending more time in Napoli and researching some of the history surrounding the Maradona, I have a greater appreciation for the infatuation that Neapolitans have for him.

You can find the entire article originally published on Hostelworld.com here.

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