Diego Maradona apologises to Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri

Napoli legend Diego Maradona has apologised to Maurizio Sarri after earlier expressing doubts about whether the new head coach was the right man to lead the club.

Sarri was appointed as successor to Rafael Benitez during the close-season but struggled in the early weeks of his tenure, taking just two points from his first three Serie A matches in charge.

That disappointing start led Maradona – who inspired the club to two league titles during his playing days – to suggest Napoli should have kept hold of Benitez.

But the 1986 World Cup winner has since backed down after a run of seven wins and two draws saw Napoli climb to fourth, two points off the top.

“I was wrong about Sarri,” he told Corriere del Mezzogiorno.

“I ask for forgiveness.”

Gonzalo Higuain continues to impress at Napoli, with nine goals in 12 league appearances this season, and Maradona believes his compatriot can help the club rediscover their glory days.

“He will make history in the Azzurri shirt,” he said. “He is my successor and Napoli will be able to go far with him in their team.”