Football: Napoli allow Maradona to join Seville

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The Independent Online
NAPOLI agreed to sell Diego Maradona to the Spanish club Seville for pounds 4.5m yesterday with the proviso that the former Argentinian captain does not play in Italy for two years.

Maradona chose Seville, unfashionable and unfancied for any of Spain's major trophies, so he can link up with Carlos Bilardo, a close friend who used to coach him at national level.

Yesterday, at the Zurich home of Fifa, the world governing body which was involved in ironing out the differences between Seville and Napoli, Maradona had a smile on his face. 'My happiness is complete,' he said.

The 31-year-old's first competitive game after the 15-month worldwide ban for cocaine use will probably be against Bayern Munich in a specially arranged friendly on Monday.

The current Argentinian manager, Alfio Basile, said he was 'choked with emotion', and that he could not wait to have Maradona back in the national side.