[imagesource: Bob Thomas/Getty Images]
Diego Maradona was many things, but despite scoring a goal he famously dubbed ‘the Hand of God’, a saint wasn’t one of them.
Tell that to the people of Naples, though.
If you haven’t yet watched the superb doccie Diego Maradona, you might not understand why he is held in such high regard in the southern Italian city.
The club he propelled to glory against the odds in the 1980s, Napoli, has renamed their stadium in his honour, from Stadio San Paolo to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Now, in the build-up to Christmas, Maradona figurines are finding a new home. Below via the Guardian:
…one street in particular – Via San Gregorio Armeno – [is] buzzing with people buying handcrafted cribs and terracotta figurines for their nativity scenes at home…
Traditionally, it was a shepherd or an animal that would join baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, but now it is usually a figurine of a personality of that year. Recently crafted statuettes include tributes to doctors and nurses who have worked throughout the pandemic as well as ones of the US president-elect Joe Biden and his deputy, Kamala Harris.
But among the star attractions is Diego Maradona, the Argentinian footballer adored by Neapolitans who died last month at the age of 60.
A figurine of Maradona, with angel’s wings, was unveiled last week as the artisan shops in Via San Gregorio Armeno reopened after lockdown.
Artist Genny Di Virgilio created the figurine, with the unveiling attended by Diego’s brother, Hugo, who lives in Naples.
Here’s Genny putting some finishing touches on one figurine:
Gabriele Casillo, who is president of the street’s figurine craftsmen, said it was their “duty” to honour the Argentinian, adding that the city’s residents “have, and will always have him in our hearts”.
Here’s the most-watched Maradona highlights reel on YouTube, for those who need a reminder of his silky skills.
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