'Maradona a legend, but wear your masks,' Napoli coach tells mourning fans

Diego Maradona and Pele (Getty Images)
Diego Maradona and Pele (Getty Images)

Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso has urged fans paying tribute to club legend Diego Maradona to wear their masks to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

Thousands of Neapolitans have thronged the streets of the southern Italian city since news of Maradona's death aged 60 on Wednesday.

Argentina World Cup winner Maradona led Napoli to their only league titles in 1987 and 1990 and the UEFA Cup in 1989.

"There is an air of sadness for Diego's death, but in this moment the city must also have common sense," said Gattuso after his side beat Roma 4-0 in Serie A on Sunday.

"There are too many people without masks. Maradona, he's a legend, there's no need to explain it, everyone knows, but right now we have to be good otherwise we will pay the consequences.

"The city is suffering economically, like the whole country, we have to do things well."

Italy was the first European country hit by the pandemic which has since killed over 50,000 Italians.

"You have to be very careful, a tragedy has happened. One of the greatest in the history of this city, we all have a duty."

Napoli hammered Roma in an empty Stadio San Paolo to move fifth in Serie A, six points behind leaders AC Milan.

"Since Covid arrived, another sport has been played, and you have to be good at finding motivations," said Gattuso.

"You struggle without fans, you have to be good at staying on track even with the right attitude, and quality that the team has."

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