Maurizio Sarri plaque torn down by furious Napoli fans as ex-boss leaves Chelsea to join their bitter Serie A rival Juventus

A PLAQUE commemorating Maurizio Sarri's time in charge of Napoli has been torn down after the coach left Chelsea for Juventus.

Neapolitan fans consider the Old Lady their great nemesis and reacted in a similarly angry manner when Gonzalo Higuain traded Campania for Turin in 2016.

Maurizio Sarri plaque torn down by furious Napoli fans as ex-boss leaves Chelsea to join their bitter Serie A rival Juventus4 The plaque is shown off by the rebels who snatched it
Maurizio Sarri plaque torn down by furious Napoli fans as ex-boss leaves Chelsea to join their bitter Serie A rival Juventus4 Beforehand, it took pride of place in the Bagnoli district

In three years at Stadio San Paolo, Sarri turned around the initially sceptic fanbase and left for Chelsea as a popular figure.

It led to a plaque being installed on Via Silio Italico inside the Bagnoli district of the city that he was born in 60 years ago.

"Here was born Commander Sarri," read the inscription. "The Neapolitan people thank the creator of beauty."

But leaving London for Napoli's title rivals Juventus was deemed a step too far – although not everyone was happy with the plaque's removal.

It was put up in May 2018 by a pair of Napoli fans who created the La Mossa del Comandante (The Commander's Move) supporters network.

After Sarri's move to Juventus was confirmed, another group who go by the name of Laboratorio Politico Iskra posted a photo of it torn down.

Maurizio Sarri plaque torn down by furious Napoli fans as ex-boss leaves Chelsea to join their bitter Serie A rival Juventus4 The hole where it once sat
Maurizio Sarri plaque torn down by furious Napoli fans as ex-boss leaves Chelsea to join their bitter Serie A rival Juventus4

However, it has split Napoli fans with some claiming it was the wrong thing to do.

One Facebook user, Fabia, decried it as a "disrespectful and childish gesture" with the debate raging on.

In justifying their act, the left-wing group blamed football's obsession with money for Sarri's decision.

They wrote: "Our hearts are crying to read the bitterness of so many people, like us, who believed and had placed their trust in someone to continue to believe in football. A trust that is regularly broken by market laws.

"How many more will we become attached to and then be disappointed by their choices?"

One popular comment in response read: "How dramatic! I believe much more practically that whoever has a job, and coaching a team is a job, has the right to change if he thinks it is an improvement in prestige, economically or socially."

When putting up the plaque, the pair who made it excitedly said that fellow Napoli fans had placed orders for a version of their own.

They told Il Corriere dello Sport last year: "The league was just finished, it was May 28 and very soon it became clear that the coach would not be staying.

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"We decided to pay homage to him with a plaque in Bagnoli, where he was born.

"All proceeds, aside from production costs, will go to support one of the many social projects active in our splendid city.

"It would be great to be able to give him a copy, to bring it to London, meet him in person and thank him for all he has given us. We loved him so much because he allowed us to dream."

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