Naples-born Insigne was heartbroken at Maradona’s death from heart failure last month, leading the moving tributes paid by the Serie A giants when he held up a shirt bearing the club icon’s name and number before their match against rivals Roma.
Insigne honored Maradona with his celebration after opening the scoring with a free-kick in a fittingly goal-packed 4-0 win, and the 29-year-old has now gone a step further by commissioning a likeness of the World Cup winner’s face on his leg.
Ink wizard Valentino Russo filmed himself applying the finishing touches to the tattoo, calling Insigne “the best captain in the world”.
Russo is a specialist in recreating sportspeople on fans’ bodies, with some of his previous tattoos including UFC star Conor McGregor and Roma legend Francesco Totti.
Insigne met his boyhood hero several times and described him as a “true Neapolitan” while writing about him on his Instagram account after his death.
“You gave everything for your people, you defended this land, you loved it,”You gave us joy, smiles, trophies, love.
“I grew up hearing my family’s tales of your exploits, seeing and reviewing your endless games. You were the greatest player in history, you were our Diego.
“I was lucky enough to meet you, talk to you, know you and I don’t deny that my legs were shaking.
“For me, you have always had beautiful words: words of comfort that I will never be able to forget and that I will keep forever within me.”
Maradona spent the longest spell of his career at his beloved Napoli, winning five trophies between 1984 and 1991 including two Serie A titles and the UEFA Cup.
Insigne is 22 goals shy of the total of 115 that currently makes Maradona the club’s third-highest scorer of all time.
At his current average rate of around a goal every four matches, Insigne could eclipse that tally in a couple of seasons at the stadium that has now been renamed after Maradona.