Napoli wins Serie A title after 33 years
Drawing 1-1 on Udinese’s field in the late match of the 33rd round, Napoli secured an early championship and ended their 33-year drought for the Serie A title. The draw on May 4th gave Napoli 80 points, 16 points ahead of second-place Lazio after 33 rounds. Coach Luciano Spalletti’s squad has clinched the title early, without having to worry about the remaining rounds.
This is Napoli’s third Serie A championship, but the first in 33 years since the era of Diego Maradona, Careca, Ciro Ferrera, and Gianfranco Zola won in 1990. It is the longest gap between two championships in Serie A history, second only to AS Roma’s 41-year gap when they won in 1942 and 1983. The first Serie A championship for Italy’s largest southern city also belonged to Maradona’s generation in the 1986-1987 season.
The match against Salernitana in round 32 on April 30 was postponed by 24 hours to allow Napoli to prepare for their championship celebration at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. On that day, Napoli fans poured out onto the streets and filled the Maradona Stadium to wait for the moment of victory. However, Napoli missed the opportunity to clinch the Serie A title early by drawing 1-1 with Salernitana.
At Friuli Stadium yesterday, Napoli’s championship celebration was in danger of being postponed once again when Sandi Lovric’s high shot gave Udinese the lead in the 13th minute. After that, Napoli rallied strongly to dominate the game.
The historic moment arrived in the 52nd minute when Osimhen’s right-footed shot found the back of the net, equalizing for Napoli. This goal also broke Samuel Eto’o’s record (21 goals) to become the African player with the most goals in a single Italian league season with 22 goals. This equalizer secured enough points for Napoli to claim the title early by five rounds.
According to Football Italy, at least 14,000 Napoli fans accompanied the team at Friuli, while another 50,000 packed the Maradona stadium to watch the game on a big screen. After referee Rosario Abisso blew the final whistle, hundreds of supporters rushed onto the field to celebrate with Luciano Spalletti and his team. At 64 years and 58 days old, Spalletti became the oldest coach to win the Scudetto.
After the match, the Italian coach cried and dedicated the triumph to his late brother, who passed away four years ago, as well as to the fans and all members of Napoli. “Seeing Partenopei smiling and rejoicing is the greatest emotion for me. They deserve this happiness,” Spalletti said emotionally.
With 22 goals and four assists, Osimhen played a significant role in Napoli’s triumph. “We were not highly rated and did not receive much confidence before the tournament,” he said. “But as I said, Napoli is a strong and united team, with an excellent coach, backstage staff, physical therapists, and doctors who always ensure that the players are in the best physical condition. From the beginning of the season, we believed that this excellent squad could bring the Scudetto home. Now, we have fulfilled our dream and will enjoy this moment.”
As the team captain, Giovanni Di Lorenzo will be the next person after Maradona to lift the Serie A championship trophy for Napoli. “Being compared to him, being the captain after Maradona to lift the Scudetto, I don’t know what to say. This is not my Scudetto, but it belongs to the whole team and those who have worked tirelessly to turn this dream into reality,” the Italian defender expressed.
On May 7th, Spalleti’s team will face Fiorentina and lift the Serie A title at the Maradona stadium. Follow Live Football Schedule to update more information about Serie A schedule as well as enjoy live soccer game today!