Barcelona manager Xavi pointed out key issue with Diego Maradona's statue in Napoli… as two of the icon's former teams prepare to face off in the Champions League
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Barcelona manager Xavi pointed out key issue with Diego Maradona's statue in Napoli… as two of the icon's former teams prepare to face off in the Champions League

Feb 25, 2024
  • The pair will do battle in the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday night
  •  They last faced off in the 2022 Europa League, the year the statue was unveiled
  • Lionel Messi, Zinedine Zidane? Which five players should have played in the Premier League? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast 

Barcelona manager Xavi pointed out a key error with Diego Maradona’s statue at Napoli’s stadium.

The two sides are set to go head-to-head in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday evening, the first time they will face off since February 2022, when the Spanish outfit ran out 5-3 aggregate winners in the Europa League.

Maradona is widely-regarded as one of the best and most influential players of all time, and played for both sides during an illustrious playing career.

He was honoured with a statue at the ground named after him following his death in 2020, with Napoli erecting the golden model in 2022 following the renaming of their ground.

Xavi, meanwhile, noticed a key mistake in the same year when Barca visited for their Europa League fixture – one that was seemingly not picked up on by the makers of the model.

Barcelona manager Xavi noticed a key issue with Diego Maradona's famous statue in Napoli

Barcelona manager Xavi noticed a key issue with Diego Maradona’s famous statue in Napoli

The Italian side unveiled the model in 2022 following the death of the midfielder two year prior

The Italian side unveiled the model in 2022 following the death of the midfielder two year prior 

Xavi noticed that the statue shows Maradona controlling the ball with his right thigh despite being left-footed

Xavi noticed that the statue shows Maradona controlling the ball with his right thigh despite being left-footed

Maradona won a plethora of accolades during his career, including the 1986 World Cup when he was a Napoli player.

He joined the Italian side in 1984 from Barca, scoring 115 goals in seven years from the club before leaving for Sevilla towards the back end of his career.

The midfielder’s time at Barcelona was short but sweet, as he scored 38 goals in 58 games despite struggling with injuries, before moving to Napoli for what was a then-world record transfer fee of £6.9million.

That didn’t stop a fellow club legend noticing the error, however. Xavi, when looking at the statue, pointed out that Maradona is seen controlling the ball with his right thigh – despite being left-footed.

Diego Maradona, Argentinian footballing legend and one of the greatest ever to play the game, has died at the age of 60 (pictured lifting the World Cup in 1986)

Diego Maradona, Argentinian footballing legend and one of the greatest ever to play the game, has died at the age of 60 (pictured lifting the World Cup in 1986)

Barcelona won the game 4-2 in Italy with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) on the score sheet, meaning they took the tie 5-3 overall

Barcelona won the game 4-2 in Italy with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) on the score sheet, meaning they took the tie 5-3 overall

Barca went onto win the game 4-2 on the night, with Jordi Alba, Frenkie de Jong, Gerard Pique and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all on the score sheet, taking the tie 5-3 on aggregate.

They will now meet again in Europe’s premier competition, with Barca slight favourites to progress despite their current on and off-field struggles.

The first leg will be played at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, before the return leg back in Spain in three weeks’ time. 



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