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Antonio Juliano, a former midfielder for Napoli, passed away at the age of 80, the Serie A team said.
From 1962 until 1978, Juliano played in almost 500 games across all competitions for the Partenopei, helping the team win the Anglo-Italian League Cup, the Coppa Italia, and the Coppa delle Alpi.
After spending a season with Bologna, he resigned in 1979 and rejoined Napoli as sporting director, where he was instrumental in the 1984 recruitment of Diego Maradona.
In an interview with CBS Sports last year, Corrado Ferlaino, the former owner of Napoli, described how the agreement was reached.
“Before my arrival I had sent two of my men to Barcelona to talk with Maradona, his agent and the club,” Ferlaino said.
“Antonio Juliano, a former Napoli player who at the time was a member of our board and with him I sent a businessman as well, Dino Celentano, a friend of mine and a person I could trust for the negotiations.
“The two of them had the task to find an agreement with both Barcelona and the player. We arrived late in the evening and the final signature on the contracts arrived around midnight.”
Juliano made just one appearance in the World Cup, coming on as a substitute in the 1970 final loss to Brazil, although he did win eighteen appearances for Italy during his playing career and was a member of the winning team in the European Championship in 1968.
“Today is one of the saddest days in Napoli’s history and for our supporters,” a statement on Napoli’s official account on X – formerly known as Twitter – read.
“Antonio Juliano, who was Mr Napoli for two decades, has passed away. If you are not familiar with him, it is worth finding out more about him and what he represented in our city. Rest in peace, Totonno.”