Serie A plans league-wide weekend tribute to Diego Maradona

A worker installs a banner with the image of Diego Maradona at the Norberto Tomaghello stadium before a Copa Sudamericana Soccer match between Argentina's Defensa y Justicia and Brazil's Vasco Da Gama. (Daniel Jayo/Pool via AP)

Diego Maradona’s famous pre-match warm-up routine from 1989 will be broadcast in Italian stadiums this weekend as part of Serie A’s tribute to the former Napoli player who died on Wednesday in his native Argentina.

All players will take the field wearing a black armband, and a minute’s silence will be observed before the kickoff of each game, with players lined up around the centre circle, the league announced on Friday.

During the minute’s silence, an image of Maradona will be projected on stadium screens, and the message “ciao Diego” will be shown on the stands – which will be empty because of coronavirus restrictions.

At the 10th minute of each match, the image of Maradona will be projected again, in honour of his jersey number.

During the teams’ warmups, the video of Maradona’s warmup before Napoli’s game against Bayern Munich in 1989 will be broadcast on stadium screens.

Maradona led Napoli to its only two Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990 and is considered a god-like figure in the southern city.

The Argentine died of a heart attack at age 60, two weeks after being released from a hospital in Buenos Aires following brain surgery.

Thousands of Napoli supporters made a pilgrimage to San Paolo Stadium on Thursday to light a candle, leave a scarf or a shirt and shed some tears in memory of their hero. Inside, Napoli beat Croatian side Rijeka 2-0 in a Europa League match.

Napoli hosts Roma on Sunday.

Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris has announced he has begun the formal process to rename San Paolo the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

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