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Maradona : Once Upon A Time In Naples

MARADONA2010-05-04 10:59:23 +0000 #1
A new Maradona Book to be released on july 1st 2005.


By John Ludden


Arriving like an angel descending from heaven, Diegio Armando Maradona made his dramatic entrance in Naples by helicopter flying into a packed Sao Paolo stadium, where 60,000 Neapolitans had gathered to welcome the greatest footballer of all time into their midst.

Before Maradona there had been nothing, just a sad history of underachievement. Many times SSC Napoli had promised much, only to fall at the last, beaten by the northern powers of Milan and Turin. Strange tales had greeted every setback and conspiracy theories raged. It was whispered that Napoli would never be allowed to win the Italian Serie A.

Well, nobody bothered to inform Maradona! For seven years he ignited Neapolitan passions and, on an unforgettable Naples May afternoon in 1987, he led them to the title. Across the city, fevered celebrations erupted... but dark clouds loomed, for theirs was a King with a crown of thorns.

With every wish there came a curse and Maradona’s crazed off-field lifestyle meant it almost inevitable that the story would end in tears. In the bars and clubs of downtown Naples, where his night-time antics became the stuff of legend, Maradona mixed with members of the murderous Neapolitan Mafia, the Camorra. The gangs embraced the Argentinian as one of their own, only to spit him out with venom when it all went sour.

Once Upon A Time In Naples attempts to piece together the events of a dramatic period in this troubled city’s history, where, albeit for a short time only, SSC Napoli ruled the roost. In a place where the devil would have needed a bodyguard, a kid born in a Buenos Aires slum brought heaven on earth to a people who lived only for their football team. With a ball at his feet Maradona could dance between the raindrops. It was a time like no other.

Welcome to Naples!


John Ludden was born in the late 1960s in Moston, Manchester and inherited a love of football from his father. Resigned to the fact that as he reached his early 30s Manchester United were not going to call, he decided on the next best thing: to write about the game he loves. In the summer of 2001, his first book, Fields Of Fire: The Greatest Football Matches Ever, was published by Mainstream Publishing of Edinburgh to excellent reviews.

John then became fascinated by Diego Maradona’s career in Naples and Once Upon A Time In Naples was born. What began as an enjoyable hobby turned into an obsession as his research, which included several trips to Naples, led to the discovery of the true extent of what really occurred during the legendary Argentinian’s spell in Italy.

John lives and works in Manchester and is married to Christine, with whom he has a two-year-old boy, Matthew, who already owns a Napoli shirt with Maradona’s name on the back.



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