It’s a topic that frustrates Napoli fans around the world but especially those who have been to matches in Naples. The stadium which was once a footballing temple, has become an old, outdated relic of the past. It’s only real value is sentimental for no matter how run-down it may be, there will always be a certain mystique to the grounds that once ignited that magical relationship between a people and their hero; the grounds that crowned Maradona a footballing god and Napoli champions of Italy for the first time in their history. There is a nostalgic aspect that would almost want to keep everything as it was then. However, if Napoli seriously intend on becoming a world-class club then eventually they will need a world-class stadium and the San Paolo as it is falls terrible short of that. A proper, club-owned modern stadium would not only be more hospitable to fans but would also increase revenue, heighten club appeal to fans and players alike and likely better the already impressive home form for Napoli as it did for Juventus when they began to play in their new stadium. The constant finger pointing between the city (the owners of the stadium) and the club (the renters) over who is responsible for modernizing the San Paolo really boils down to one thing: money. And that is where Maradona may be able to help.
De Laurentiis has always left the door open to involving Maradona in club affairs, while the Argentine has never hidden his ongoing devotion to the club, city and people that have continued to show him unconditional love throughout the years. Yet the possibility of these two volatile personalities finding a way to work together still seemed far-fetched; that is until Maradona’s most recent visit to Naples. Both Maradona and ADL admitted to holding serious talks about finding a role for Diego with the club. De Laurentiis went so far as to say, “Maradona will be a club ambassador as soon as he clears up his tax issues.”. Many wondered what exactly that meant but in an interview with Italian television program PiùEnne Maradona seemed to reveal what that would entail. When Gianni Improta declared his desire for Diego to help attract foreign investments in both the club and city, Diego very candidly admitted that his conversations with De Laurentiis revolved precisely around that topic. Maradona went on to talk about how foreign investments were changing football and that he and ADL both realized the possibilities finding foreign capital could open for the club. He then said that he and De Laurentiis would update each other on the situation when they meet again in Madrid for the Champions League match against Los Blancos. If Maradona can help attract investors to Napoli then he could very well be responsible for helping the city and club finally get the stadium they deserve; be it an extensively renovated San Paolo or a new one altogether.