Glenn Hoddle has revealed that he came close to leaving Tottenham Hotspur for Napoli during the early 1980s.
Hoddle is widely considered to be one of the most technically gifted players to have ever played for Spurs and one of the most talented footballers England has ever produced.
The midfielder made almost 500 appearances for Tottenham, scoring 110 goals for the club before leaving North London to join AS Monaco in 1987 (Wikipedia).
Hoddle, who came back to White Hart Lane as a manager in 2001, has now revealed that he had a chance to move to Napoli immediately after the 1982 World Cup.
At the time, Serie A was the best league in world football by some distance and the Tottenham legend admitted that he was keen on sealing a move to Naples following his World Cup exploits with England.
Hoddle explained that, in the end, the move collapsed due to some unexpected circumstances off the pitch.
He told Joe.co.uk: “I don’t know if we would’ve played with Maradona, but it was possible. I played in the ’82 World Cup and Napoli wanted me to sign, so they gave me a 10-day holiday in Positano.
“I went around the stadium – what a crazy place, oh my word. And it was like, ‘Yeah I fancy this.’
“Anyway, so I go back in the summer, I’m thinking, right now we’ll get (the deal done). I get a phone call from Dennis Roach, my manager, he said, ‘Glenn, the deal is off’.
“I asked did they change their mind. ‘No,’ he said. ‘The president’s been put in prison and the coach is gone!’
“So, I was like, ‘Oh… Okay then. We won’t be going there’. That was in ’82 and Diego went in ’83 or ’84. It didn’t happen, but I had a very nice holiday.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It would have certainly been quite unbelievable to see two of the game’s greats in Maradona and Hoddle play together for Napoli.
However, from a Spurs perspective, we were fortunate that the move did go through, given the numerous moments of magic that Hoddle went on to produce in a Tottenham shirt.
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