Maradona – widely considered to be one of football’s greatest ever players – died at the age of 60 after a suspected heart attack.
A World Cup winner with Argentina, Maradona enjoyed stunning success in Naples, where he guided Napoli to unprecedented Serie A glory in 1986-87 and 1989-90 – the Italian team are yet to add to their only two Scudetto honours.
As Napoli fans and Naples natives mourn the death of Maradona, De Laurentiis confirmed the Stadio San Paolo is likely to be named after the football icon.
In a letter written to Maradona on Napoli’s official website, De Laurentiis said: “You leave us with a great testament of what it means to be a man of fragility, strength and absolute love for life and one’s neighbour. A unique, inimitable champion.
“Your weaknesses, your imperfections, your mistakes are tantamount to your immense greatness, though none of that compares to your legend.
“Many have said you represent the synthesis of genius and unruliness. An artist of the beautiful game, your unique brushstrokes are to be remembered in the pantheon of the greatest exponents. Like a restless work of Caravaggio, whose indomitable and unruly nature is forgiven for its immense greatness.
“Your years here remain indelible in the memories of the people of Naples – symbolic of a coveted redemption and yearned-for resurrection. Thank you, Diego. You are, and will always be, with all of us.” Goal.