Diego Maradona is planning a 50th birthday party in Naples next month, despite owing the tax man there 37 million euros.
The controversial former World Cup winner spent seven seasons at Napoli, heralding the greatest period in the club’s history in which they won two Italian league titles.
And having been fired as Argentina coach following their disappointing World Cup campaign, Maradona now wants to return to his second home to have a fiesta.
“Neapolitans, I invite you to my birthday,” he said in Monday’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“In life I’ve had it all: a family I adore, a brilliant career and now I want for nothing, and certainly not money.
“My only desire is to return to Naples to once again embrace the town and the people who have never forgotten me.”
Maradona wants to organise a high-profile friendly match to celebrate his birthday, with former team-mates Bruno Giordano and Brazilian Careca already apparently confirmed as taking part.
Napoli themselves have made no official comment but in June club president Aurleio De Laurentiis claimed he was “waiting for Diego”.
However, were Maradona to return to Naples it’s not clear how local authorities would react due to his mammoth tax bill, which includes 23.5 million euros in interest.
Police have already seized two watches and a pair of earrings from Maradona on his previous visits to Italy.
In 2006 they took two watches worth 11,000 euros and last year a pair of earrings he was relieved of were sold at auction for 25,000 euros.
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