Napoli stooped from using Maradona's image on jersey

Maradona spent seven years with Napoli, scoring 115 goals in 257 games for the club, as they won a first-ever Scudetto in 1986-87.

Napoli stooped from using Maradona's image on jersey
Osimhen wearing the Napoli jersey with Maradona's image

Napoli are no longer able to use the likeness of Diego Maradona on their shirts, having lost a legal battle with the Argentina icon's children. 

A court has ruled in favour of Maradona's five children in an argument with Stefano Ceci over their father's image rights, after Napoli had produced four limited edition shirts with the World Cup-winner's face on a finger print pattern following his death. 

According to Italian outlet La Reppublica, the Serie A leaders acquired the rights to produce shirts with the club legend's likeness from Ceci, the Argentine's former manager, prior to Maradona's death in 2020. 

But although the club signed a £20,200 (€23,000) agreement with Ceci, the player's family claimed to never have given consent to the use of the images, and have been successful in their calls for an injunction to block the distribution of his image. 

The family also called for the proceeds made off of Maradona's likeness to be seized - around £400,000 (€450,000) - and Ceci himself has had some £132,000 (€150,000) seized. 

Maradona is perhaps the Neapolitans' most-loved figure in their 96-year history, and he has been immortalised several times over in murals across the city so key is he to the side's identity, hence the significance of the fingerprint on the shirt.

In total, the sale of an estimated 6,000 limited editions shirts - in four different designs - brought the club around £791,000 (€900,000) in gross income, half of which went to Maradona's former manager.  


The Napoli kit list for the 2020-21 season including four Maradona-based designs

Court of Naples judge Paolo Andrea Vassallo described the contract with Ceci as 'detrimental to the patrimonial expectations' of the club legend's family. 

He added that Maradona was 'a planetary symbol of football, recognised and recognisable all over the world, whose economic value appears to be of considerable importance, almost inestimable.'

His death rocked the club, and there have been several commemorations in his honour, including a Europa League clash with Rijeka on Thursday, November 26 2020 in which Napoli players wore a No 10 shirt with Maradona's name on the back. 

A deeply divisive figure, but undeniably one of the greatest talents to ever grace a football pitch, Maradona spent seven years with Napoli, scoring 115 goals in 257 games for the club, as they won a first ever Scudetto in 1986-87.


The Argentine has several murals in his honour in the southern Italian city

Whilst four of the southern Italian side's kits last term carried the legend's likeness, the club will at least be thankful that the court's ruling will not affect the side this campaign. 

Maradona's own shirt from the 1986 World Cup - which he lifted after beating West Germany in the final - was returned to his home country by Lothar Matthaus, who he called his greatest opponent in his biography. 

Having returned the jersey to the Argentine ambassador in Spain in August 2022, Matthaus spoke to Sportsmail exclusively, saying: 'Diego is a god in Argentina, that is why it was special to give them the jersey.'