Argentine star Diego Armando Maradona, considered the best player in the world in his time, left Barça to join Napoli. He didn’t have the best of times in Barcelona, but became a legend in Napoli.
Barça fans were thrilled in 1982, when Maradona arrived at the club, amongst great expectations
that unfortunately were not met.
Fleeting time at Barça
Wearing the Barça shirt, Maradona showed a lot of his magic, but was invariably
marked out of games, which meant he only got to really impress on limited occasions. One of those
was his goal against Red Star in the 1982/83 Cup Winners Cups, and another was at the Santiago
Bernabéu in that season’s League Cup, which even the Madrid fans were moved to applaud.
Then Maradona went down with hepatitis and was told to rest for a few months. He returned to
the team just when Udo Lattek was departing, and being replaced by César Luis Menotti, who saved
the season with two wins against the eternal rival, Real Madrid, in the Copa del Rey and League Cup
In his second season at Barça (1983/84), Maradona suffered a serious injury following that
horrendous tackle by Athletic Bilbao’s Andoni Goikoetxea, causing him to fracture his ankle.
He did not reappear until the end of the season, by which time Barça were already out of the title
chase. He also had to miss the notorious Copa del Rey final with Athletic Bilbao that was blighted
by several fights between the players.
Neapolitan hero and sad finale
Maradona decided the best thing would be to go, and he signed for Napoli in Italy,
where he became a veritable star and led the team to two Serie A championships, a Coppa and a UEFA
Cup. A modest Italian club had suddenly emerged as one of the finest teams in the world, overcoming
such giants as Inter, AC Milan and Juventus. And that was largely thanks to the amazing Maradona,
who also won the 1986 World Cup with Argentina. But in 1991, the Calcio suspended him for fifteen
months due to drug-related issues. He never played for Napoli again, and in 1992 he was sold to