33 Years A.D (After Diego)

On the 4th of May, 2023, the entire city of Naples – a city well-known for its philosophy, history, art, cuisine, wine, and stunning geological features – finally erupted into joyous celebrations after several weeks of anticipation. The streets were plastered sky blue by the maze of fans singing, letting off smoke bombs and painting and plastering platforms available to them.

Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli(S.S.C Napoli) aka, I Partenopei, under the guidance of Luciano Spalletti have finally clinched the Scudetto 33 years AD( After Diego). It is Napoli’s first championship since 1990, when Diego Maradona led the club to the Serie A title.

Napoli fumbled the opportunity to make history at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Sunday, 30th of April, by becoming the first team in the history of the Serie A to win the league with 6 games to go, however they did the job, as they just needed a draw to be acknowledged champions, drawing 1-1 with Udinese to clinch the league title with five games remaining, tying the league record. Osimhen’s equalizer after 53 minutes revived the team, after a shaky start to the game, ensuring that the team’s fans who had travelled to watch the team’s last period of play had reason to celebrate.

Every triumph usually has several heroes, and for the Gli Azzurri they came in form of their manager, Luciano Spalletti; their devastating front duo, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia & Victor Osimhen; the diminutive Slovak, Stanislav Lobotka and South Korean, Kim Min-jae.

Spalletti quickly instilled belief and confidence in his players. One of the ways he achieved this was to get the kitman to print the opening lyrics of the chant he liked most from the Curve at the Maradona. “Saró con te / Non devi mollare / Abbiamo un sogno nel cuore / Che Napoli torna campione.” I’ll be there for you. Don’t give up. We have a dream in our hearts. That Napoli are champions again.

The Neapolitans certainly know how to show their love and appreciation for their star players with many people emulating Osimhen’s characteristic bleached hair and face mask. There have also been Osimhen themed cakes amongst other things. His counterpart, Kvicha Kvaratskhelia, already has a baby named after him. The child’s father, Armando, was named after Diego Armando Maradona and wants to continue this tradition with his child.

The part played by the management in winning the trophy can also not be overlooked. Despite losing several key starters over the summer, including Lorenzo Insigne, Kalidou Koulibaly, Fabián Ruiz, and Dries Mertens, the management made a number of shrewd, unseen acquisitions. The club was reformed into a disciplined defensive unit by South Korean international Kim Min-jae and former Fulham midfielder André-Frank Zambo Anguissa, but no addition turned out to be more important than Georgian star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

The trophies will stop there for this season. The team lost to Cremonese in the Coppa Italia Round of 16 and blew a good Champions League draw by losing to AC Milan in the Quarterfinals. The current squad boasts of young and exciting talent, if they are not picked off by the “bigger boys” in Europe, this could be the beginning of a dominant era for Napoli.

Olokungbemi Gerald


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