Stadio San Paolo
|Full name||Stadio San Paolo|
|Former names||Stadio del Sole|
|Location||Naples, Campania, Italy|
|Owner||Comune di Napoli|
|Record attendance||112,365 (SSC Napoli-AC Perugia, 21 October 1979)|
|Field size||110 m × 68 m (361 ft × 223 ft)|
|Opened||December 6, 1959|
|Architect||Carlo Cocchia, Luigi Corradi|
|S.S.C. Napoli (1959–present)
Italian football team (selected matches)
Stadio San Paolo is a stadium in the western suburb of Fuorigrotta in Naples, Italy, and is the third largest football stadium in Italy after the San Siro and Stadio Olimpico. For the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, it hosted the football preliminaries. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home of Napoli. The stadium was built in 1959 and underwent extensive renovations in 1989 for the 1990 World Cup. The present capacity of the San Paolo is 60,240.
The stadium is probably most famous for hosting the 1990 World Cup semi-final between Italy and Argentina. Considered to be the most intriguing match of that World Cup, Diego Maradona, who played for Naples's Italian 1st division team, asked for the Napoli fans to cheer for Argentina. The Napoli tifosi responded by hanging a flag in their "curva" of the stadium saying "Maradona, Naples loves you, but Italy is our homeland". It was touching for Maradona as Napoli was the only stadium during that World Cup that the Argentinian national anthem was not jeered. The match finished 1–1 after extra time. A penalty shoot out ensued with Maradona fittingly scoring the winning penalty for Argentina.
Even with Napoli in Serie C1 during the 2005–06 season, Napoli achieved the feat of having the 3rd highest average home attendance in Italy for the season with only two Serie A clubs, Milan and Internazionale having higher attendances. Napoli's final game of the season drew a crowd of 51,000 which now stands as a Serie C record.
The Naples city council asked the Italian government for permission to rename the stadium after Diego Maradona. The Argentine legend helped Napoli to win Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990, and he remains a popular figure in the city.
The council voted to ask for the renaming of the San Paolo stadium, but one stumbling block is an Italian law prohibiting public buildings to be named after any person who has not been dead for at least 10 years.
1990 FIFA World Cup
The stadium was one of the venues of the 1990 FIFA World Cup, and held five matches The first two were Argentina’s Group B matches. The first was against Soviet Union on June 13 winning 2 - 0 and the second was against Romania on June 18 ending in a 1 - 1 draw. The next two were Cameroon matches. The first was a Round of 16 match against Colombia on June 23 winning 2 - 1 after extra time and the second was a Quarter-finals match against England on July 1 losing 3 - 2 after extra time. The fifth and last was the Semi-finals between Argentina and hosts Italy on July 3 with Argentina winning on penalties 1 - 1 (4 - 3).
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- Maradona, Diego (2004). El Diego, pg. 166.