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Napoli win emotional first match after Maradona’s death

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Napoli overcame Croatian side Rijeka 2-0 on Thursday in their first match since the death of Diego Maradona, the Italian club’s greatest and most popular player.

On an emotionally-charged evening, the Napoli team took the field for the Europa League game wearing number 10 shirts with Maradona’s name emblazoned on the back, while a photograph of the Argentine idol stared down from the electronic scoreboard.

Banners showing images of Maradona, who led Napoli to two Serie A titles during seven extraordinary seasons at the club in the 1980s, were placed around the San Paolo stadium, which was eerily empty and quiet due to COVID-19 regulations.

“From yesterday, when we went to the hotel, you could sense that a different mood had come over the city,” Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso said. “It was a great loss, but Diego will never die. He is a legend, from another planet.”

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