Gattuso tells Neapolitans to wear masks amid Maradona mourning


Soccer Football - Serie A - Napoli v AS Roma - Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy - November 29, 2020 Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso reacts REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

NAPLES, Italy (Reuters) - Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso is worried about the number of people not wearing masks during the mourning for Diego Maradona, he said after his side's 4-0 home win over AS Roma on Sunday.

News of Maradona’s death on Wednesday drew thousands of stunned Neapolitans onto the streets in defiance of a novel coronavirus lockdown, and since then many have been gathering outside the club's San Paolo stadium.

Maradona played some of his most sublime soccer during seven seasons at Napoli and achieved god-like status in the city.

"There is a sadness surrounding Diego's death and maybe I shouldn't say it, but I will," said Gattuso. "I am seeing too many people without masks and the city should show some common sense.

"Maradona is a legend, we all know that, but at this moment you have to do the right thing or else we will pay the consequences later. The city is suffering like the whole country, so let's stay calm."

Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne said the team were driven by a desire to pay a fitting tribute to the Argentine.

"I certainly played with extra motivation as did all my team mates. Our idol has passed away and it hurts," he said.

"Today, without a doubt, we wanted more than usual to get a result, for Diego, for the city that is suffering this loss. We dedicate the victory to him.

"We have a lot of quality but sometimes we make stupid mistakes, especially in the build-up. You have to enter the field with the right mentality which we did today," he added.

Roma coach Paulo Fonseca said his side were outplayed as they suffered their first defeat this season -- not including a forfeited match against Verona -- and missed the chance to go second. They are sixth in the table, one place behind Napoli.

"We did not have courage, determination or aggression," he said. "We did not play well, we did not close the spaces between the lines and we made it easy for them. We have to correct these mistakes and reset everything as soon as possible".

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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