Diego Maradona has returned to Naples to plead his innocence over an outstanding 40 million euros ($52.5 million) tax bill issued to him by the Italian justice system.
The former Argentina and Napoli striker expressed his desire to avoid persecution in the southern Italian city, where he is held in high esteem by fans of the Serie A club with whom he won two league titles in 1987 and 1990.
Hundreds of supporters greeted the 52-year-old on his arrival at Naples airport yesterday but he declined to speak to the press about claims he owes the Italian state millions of euros in unpaid taxes until today's press conference.
In previous visits to Italy in recent years, tax police have confiscated two Rolex watches and a diamond earring from Maradona, plus 3 million euros ($4 million) he had earned from appearing on the ''Ballando con le stelle'' TV dance show.
In 2010, plans for a match in Naples celebrating Maradona's 50th birthday had to be abandoned due to th...