Thursday February 13 2014
‘Maradona Napoli ambassador’

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has spoken of the effect Diego Maradona had on his team as they secured their Coppa Italia final place.

The Argentine was present as the Azzurri defeated Roma 3-0 and the film producer said Maradona could still have an important role to play at the club.

“Maradona can be a very important ambassador for Napoli throughout the world,” De Laurentiis has today told Radio 24.

“He is one of the family. He made a film with me when I understood nothing about football!”

The 64-year-old also heaped praise on his side’s performance and said it was an important steppingstone on the club’s journey.

“Football is pure adrenalin, there have been so many significant moments.

“The promotion to Serie B, the one to Serie A, the games with Chelsea, Dortmund and Arsenal.

The important thing is to honour the shirt and the project we have here.

“I made Rafa Benitez the Coach when he offered me breakfast in London.

“I saw the Neapolitan in him, he introduced himself like a friend or family member. He was convincing both from a professional and personal point of view.

“Differences with Mazzarri? We had to change formation, in Europe the great sides play with a 4-2-3-1. Moreover we had the issue of losing Cavani.

“With Benitez we agreed to create multiple points of attack and have less individualism, hence the idea from Rafa of signing players like Mertens and Callejon.

“With Mazzarri there was always a fear of signing someone new, like Vargas, who has begun very well in Spain.”