The man who lives in Maradona’s head: opening a window on the new Naples

11 months ago 31

Ciro Maiello, whose home is adorned with a painting of the player, says Napoli’s first Serie A win since Diego’s days heralds a new dawn for the city

At 10.37pm on 4 May the man who lives in Diego Maradona’s head threw open the window of his flat in the Spanish Quarter district in Naples for the first time in months, erupting in a cathartic scream as the city celebrated another moment in its rebirth.

Ciro Maiello, a 50-year-old pork butcher, moved to the apartment block featuring a giant mural of the Argentinian in 1996 and lived there through a period he called the “dark days [when] dozens of people were killed in these streets.” The mural was painted a few years earlier, in honour of the player who gave the city’s football team the most successful period in its history, including its first Serie A title win, and whose veneration by Neapolitans is comparable only to the adoration of its patron saint, Gennaro.

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