Diego Maradona’s younger brother Hugo, 52, dies of a heart attack 13 months after cardiac arrest killed the Argentinian football legend
Hugo Maradona, the younger brother of Argentine football legend Diego, has died of a heart attack at the age of 52.
Hugo suffered the fatal attack at his home in Naples, the city where Diego played at the peak of his career and where Hugo played as a junior, around 11.50am Tuesday.
The club said Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis and the team ‘come together around Maradona’s family and unite with them in the pain of Hugo’s death’.
It comes just 13 months after a cardiac arrest killed Diego – Argentina’s world cup hero and one of the greatest ever to play the game – who died in Argentina in November 2020 at the age of 60.
Hugo was seen at the Maradona stadium in Naples to take part in a ceremony in memory of his late brother and footballing legend only one month ago.
He leaves behind a wife, Paola Morra whom he married in 2016, and three children.
Hugo Maradona, younger brother of Argentine football legend Diego, has died at the age of 53 (pictured in May this year)
Hugo (right) was also a footballer like sibling Diego (left) and even signed for Napoli, the team where Diego played at the peak of his career, aged 18 – but never hit the big-time
The youngest of the Maradona brothers – the others being Diego and Raul – Hugo was also a keen footballer and signed as a junior for Napoli aged 18 in 1987.
But unlike his brother, who played out his best years at the club and is revered in the city as something of a holy figure, Hugo was quickly loaned out to Ascoli.
On September 20, 1987, the two brothers played against each other with Diego’s Napoli coming out on top 2-1.
Hugo went on to play in minor leagues in Spain, Austria and Venezuela before ending his playing career in Japan in the late 1990s.
After that he turned to coaching, and was involved in a number of youth academies.
Argentina’s young star Diego Maradona (L) waves to the crowd after an Argentinos Juniors match, Buenos Aires, 1979, with younger brother Hugo pictured alongside him
He settled in Naples where he was something of a public figure, leading a memorial service for his brother at the Maradona Stadium just last month.
Hugo had also recently considered a run for public office as councillor for centre-right mayoral candidate Catello Maresca, but withdrew from the lists before the left ultimately won.
Josi Della Ragione, mayor of the municipality of Bacoli where Hugo lived, paid tribute to him following his death.
‘Bacoli clings to the pain of the Maradona family, for the death of dear Hugo. I hug his wife, Paola,’ he said.
‘I had the honor and the pleasure of celebrating his wedding. It was an exciting and happy day. I will remember Hugo’s simplicity. He was always among the people.’
‘He was always among the people, and he had become a son of the Phlegraean community. May he rest in peace.’
Hugo Maradona of Fukuoka Blux in action during the 75th Emperor’s Cup second round at Suizenji Stadium on December 10, 1995 in Kumamoto, Japan