Napoli’s Serie A title win:  Victor Osimen dazzles Scudetto

Napoli’s Serie A title win:  Victor Osimen dazzles Scudetto


One seemingly small event sent a fandom and a city crazy with joy.

The defender’s powerful header was the decisive goal in a 1-0 victory and those three points assured Napoli’s position atop Serie A, two points ahead of AC Milan who also won that day.

In doing so, Baroni clinched the club’s second ever Italian league title, cementing its golden era into Napoli folklore – an era spearheaded by the great Diego Maradona.

The joy of those two Scudetto title successes didn’t last that long though: Napoli suffered relegations, financial difficulties, near misses and the coming and going of superstars – all without reclaiming that elusive third title.

That was until this year. Led by the towering Nigerian Victor Osimhen, the enigmatic Georgian Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and coach Luciano Spalletti, Napoli has romped to the Serie A title, ending 33 years in the wilderness. A fandom and a city, again, rejoice.

“The city is special. For example, it’s very difficult for others to understand what we do for our club,” Daniele ‘Decibel’ Bellini, Napoli’s stadium announcer, told CNN Sport.

In recent years, Bellini has gone viral for his videos announcing Napoli’s goalscorers during games. His ‘call and response’ style with the fans leaves viewers with goosebumps, such is the enthusiasm displayed from both parties.

One YouTube video of Bellini calling out the name of former Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuaín has been viewed over six million times. In the video, Bellini calls out the Argentine’s first name nine times, with the Napoli faithful roaring back the player’s surname in response.

“Every time, I tell them the club is like a girlfriend, is like a mother, is something special for us. And this is the reason for all this passionate, all this incredible love for the team and maybe this is the reason when I go to the stadium and I do my job, the people wait for me for pictures and signatures and videos.”

But, after years of heartache, the title victory is important for so much more than just on field success; it is a victory for southern Italy against its northern rivals, not least because there has long been economic tension between those two parts of the country.

“It will be not just the first time Napoli has won the title since Maradona, but the first time the true south has won, if you’re not counting Rome” Kirsten Schlewitz – Napoli fan and author of the upcoming book ‘More Than Maradona: The Birth, Death and Rebirth of SSC Napoli’ – told CNN.

“It is a big deal for the city as a whole to have that pride and to be able to say: ‘Look, we can do it too. You don’t need to be the rich northerners. We assembled a smart squad.’

“It’s not a club where teams can just come in and pick off their players and there’s an incredible pride in Napoli developing, Napoli finding the good players, not so much for the youth squad, but being able to be that smart team that can build a competitive squad without … spending big money on players who are over the hill.

“So there’s that pride in being able to say: ‘Yeah, but yeah the south did this and the south did this in a different way.’”

Osimhen is surrounded by Napoli fans after the team wins the Serie A title.

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