Napoli clinch first Serie A title for 33 years to spark wild celebrations
Napoli are celebrating clinching their first Serie A title since the era of Diego Maradona.
Luciano Spalletti’s side had been made to wait for their crowning moment of glory after a late draw with Salernitana at the weekend and nearest challengers Lazio’s 2-0 win over Sassuolo on Wednesday night.
That agonising wait to officially end 33 years without a coveted Scudetto looked set to continue even longer after Sandi Lovric’s early goal for Udinese on Thursday, but Victor Osimhen’s second-half equaliser at the Dacia Arena sealed a share of the spoils and ensured that Napoli went an unassailable 16 points clear at the summit with only five matches left to play this season.
It was fitting that the Nigerian international’s 27th strike of the season clinched such a historic moment for Gli Azzurri, given his incredible campaign in front of goal.
Celebrations back in Naples will continue long into the night and across the days ahead as one of European football’s most passionate fanbases toast their first Serie A triumph since 1989-90, which came with late club icon Maradona spearheading their attack. The Argentine hero also led Napoli to their first top-flight title ever in 1986-87.
“I’m happy for all Napoli fans worldwide,” Osimhen said. “No one deserves the Scudetto more than Neapolitans — more than us.
“I don’t care who scored, I just wanted to get the Scudetto.”
Spalletti said: “Napoli, this is for you. There are people here who will be able to get through difficult moments in their lives because they remember this moment. These people deserve all the joy.”
There were 11,000 Napoli fans in attendance in Udine on Thursday evening, with another 5,000 outside the ground and 50,000 watching on big screens back at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona alongside club president Aurelio De Laurentiis and Naples mayor Gaetano Manfredi.
Long-awaited domestic glory more than makes up for Napoli falling to rivals AC Milan after their maiden run to the Champions League quarter-finals last month.
“You always told me, ‘We want to win,’ and now we’ve won. We’ve won all together,” De Laurentiis said.
“This is the coronation of a dream that’s been going on for 33 years. It’s been a long process.”