Napoli finally ended their long wait to win Italy’s Serie A on Thursday after a 1-1 draw at Udinese secured their third league title with a record-equalling five games to play.Thousands of fans in Udine, at the Stadio Maradona in Naples and all around southern Italy’s biggest city exploded with joy at the final whistle as 33 years of waiting came to an end.
Supporters streamed onto the pitch at the Dacia Arena to celebrate after a season dominated by Luciano Spalletti’s side, creating moments of tension with home fans not happy at such open partying on their ground.
Victor Osimhen scored the decisive goal in the second half as Napoli’s current stars came back from trailing to Sandi Lovric’s opener at half-time and emulated the teams led by Diego Maradona which won the league in 1987 and 1990.
Spalletti and his squad will receive an emotional welcome when they return to Naples, where the partying is set to continue to until at least their next home fixture against Fiorentina on Sunday evening.
“Seeing Neapolitans happy is enough to give you a sense of that joy they are feeling,” Spalletti told DAZN on the verge of tears.
“These people will look to this moment when life gets hard, they have every right to celebrate like this. You feel a bit more relaxed knowing that you’ve given them this moment of happiness.”
It was appropriate that Osimhen was the man to take Napoli over the line as the Nigeria striker has had the best season of his career and been key to Napoli’s historic charge to glory.
Osimhen’s title-deciding strike was his 22nd goal in 28 league appearances and rightly caused bedlam among the massed ranks of away fans who took over Udine.
Napoli’s 16-point lead over second-placed Lazio leaves them with a month-long parade between now and the end of the season which will allow their long-suffering supporters to fully unload more than a generation of frustration.