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Feb 17, 2014

Maradona: Higuain best player around

Diego Maradona has given Gonzalo Higuain his seal of approval, saying the striker can lead Napoli to glory the way he did over 30 years ago.

• Maradona keen on Napoli role
• Higuain aiming to emulate Maradona

After witnessing the Argentina international score the last goal in a 3-0 victory over Roma in the Coppa Italia semifinal on Wednesday, Maradona has promised to return to Italy for the final in May to see if Higuain can help bring the latest trophy to success-starved Naples.

"Napoli can be victorious because Higuain is the best player around at the moment," Maradona told Corriere dello Sport. "He's going to give Napoli and the fans so much satisfaction. I want to come back for the final of the Coppa Italia. I want to be in the stadium.

"It was an emotional occasion for me to be at the Stadio [San Paolo]. I felt the warmth of the fans. I want to tell Napoli and the fans that I'm always here, even when I'm away and not always among you."

Maradona may want to pencil in another date in May for a return to Italy. On May 14, the Europa League final takes place in Turin and Napoli could be involved.

They must first overcome Swansea in the last 32, a challenge they may have to face without Higuain.

The club’s top scorer was withdrawn from Sunday's 2-0 win over Sassuolo with a back injury.

"We've got four days so we'll have to wait and see," said coach Rafael Benitez, who has hinted he may not send out his strongest side against Swansea.

"Serie A is our number one priority, but let's see if we can progress in the Europa League even changing a few players, while maintaining a high level."

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