Born in 1991 in Frattamaggiore, Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne is too young to have experienced the heyday of Diego Maradona in southwest Italy himself, but the Neapolitan bleeds the club’s colors — he's currently fifth all-time in appearances and ninth in goals — and has grown up immersed in the Argentine's legend.
Even though the No. 10 is retired at the club, Maradona once said that Insigne could wear it if he scores more than him — on Sunday, the attacker moved one closer to the Argentine’s total of 115 with the opening goal against Roma off a free kick.
The celebration, of course, honored Maradona. Napoli wore special edition kits for the match that blended elements of Argentina’s famous home shirt, and Insigne raised one for Maradona.
For MaradonaLorenzo Insigne scores this beautiful free kick and has a special celebration. pic.twitter.com/g7RQ59U2uX
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 29, 2020
“Many generations have passed since my day,” Maradona once said. “Now the dads have to find videos of my goals to play to their sons. Even the youngest kids know me in Naples and that makes me very proud.”
Napoli played with its own sense of pride and honor from the start, beginning with Insigne placing flowers before an image of Maradona inside the San Paolo and ending with a 4-0 win over its rival from the capital.
Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne with a tribute to Diego Maradona ahead of tonight's Serie A match with Roma pic.twitter.com/pHFQDoxAov— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 29, 2020
Insigne’s goal arrived in the 30th minute, and Fabián Ruiz, Dries Mertens and Matteo Politano completed the rout.
“The atmosphere certainly gave us extra motivation, as we wanted to pay homage to our idol,” Insigne said. “It hurts and we cared more than ever tonight to put in a great performance for him and the city that is suffering."