Maradona: I'm still a Neopolitan

The Argentina legend spoke of his affection for his former club after watching them beat Roma in the Coppa Italia and promised to return for the final

Diego Maradona has expressed his endearing love towards former club Napoli after watching at the Stadio San Paolo as they reached the Coppa Italia final in midweek.

The Argentine scored 115 times in his eight years at the Partenopei after joining the Italians in 1984 and helped the club to two Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia and the 1989 Uefa Cup at the Stadio San Paolo.

Speaking after watching Napoli overcome Roma 3-0 in their Coppa Italia semi final second leg, securing a 5-3 aggregate win in the process, the 53-year-old spoke warmly of his continued interest in the Rafa Benitez's squad's fortunes.

"I'll return soon," the 1986 World Cup Ballon d'Or winner - who left Napoli in disgrace following a cocaine scandal - told Corriere dello Sport in an interview. "I love Italy, I love this country and I feel Neapolitan.

"I was so excited at the stadium [during Napoli's win over Roma]. I felt a big embrace. To Napoli and the fans want to say this: I am always there with you. Wait for the Coppa Italia final - I want to go and be there at the stadium."

Maradona remains Napoli's all-time leading scorer and was hailed this week by club president Aurelio De Laurentiis, who described the former forward as "an ambassador for Napoli throughout the world".

Napoli, who are currently sitting third in Serie A with 47 points from 23 games, face Sassuolo on Sunday.