Napoli won the Scudetto for the first time since 1990 on Thursday, May 4.
In November 2020, Diego Armando Maradona died of cardiac failure and lung oedema. He had cerebral surgery and was recuperating in a home in the Buenos Aires suburbs rather than a hospital.
At the 1986 World Cup, the Argentina squad captain Maradona caused a commotion when he scored the infamous “hand of God” goal, which many believed he had assisted with his hand. The goal contributed to England’s elimination from the tournament.
After Argentina’s victory, he became one of the world’s most renowned athletes. His fame was comparable to Pelé, the famous Brazilian soccer player.
Maradona also played for Napoli and won the Italian division with them in 1987 and 1991. Before that, he played for Barcelona and tallied 47 goals in 75 games from 1982 to 1984.
Napoli Win the Scudetto After 33 Years
Diego Maradona had only won two honours with Napoli before this season, in 1986-87 and 1989-90. This season, manager Luciano Spalletti led the club in a much more organized manner.
Napoli last claimed the Scudetto in 1990. However, on Thursday, May 4, 2023, Napoli won the Scudetto for the first time since 1990, thanks to Victor Osimhen’s goal in the second half of a 1-1 stalemate with Udinese.
Over 50,000 people witnessed the game on large screens at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples. There were 11,000 Napoli supporters inside the stadium and 5,000 more outside.
This is Napoli’s third championship in Italy’s premier division and their first since 1987 and 1990, when Diego Maradona led them to victory. When Maradona passed away in November 2020, Napoli’s home field was renamed in his tribute.
They were six minutes away from winning the championship on Sunday but drew with Salernitana instead. This allowed Lazio to come up to the leaders and capture the title.
This opportunity has since passed, and Napoli now leads by 16 points with only five games remaining in the season.
The manager of Napoli, Luciano Spalletti, stated that Maradona “was felt in this success.”
“Napoli, this is for you,” he said.
“There are individuals here who will be able to endure difficult times in their lives because they will recall this moment. These individuals deserve every delight in the world.”
Since Roma won the League championship in 2001, no team from a city south of Milan or Turin has claimed the League championship.
Napoli’s 16-point lead over second-placed Lazio gives them a month to coast to the season’s conclusion, allowing their supporters to release more than a century’s worth of tension.
Spalletti stated that Diego Maradona was monitoring Napoli and ultimately assisted his former team in winning the Serie A championship.
The Maradona Effect
Many individuals believe that Maradona, who passed away in 2020, was the greatest player ever. During his prime, he played for Napoli, winning two league championships and the UEFA Cup in 1989.
Maradona is regarded as a deity by the football-obsessed city of Naples, whose team has yet to be as successful since he departed in 1991.
It is the first Italian league championship of Spalletti’s lengthy and tumultuous managerial career. The volcanic Tuscan was nearly emotionally overcome because he was no longer considered Italy’s near man.
Victor Osimhen has been the team’s leader, and on Thursday, he won the championship by scoring his 22nd goal of the season. While celebrating a goal, Osimhen damaged his face mask, and Napoli personnel had to repair it while the Nigerian forward played without it for a few minutes.
Osimhen declared, “I’m happy for all Napoli fans around the world. We, the people of Naples, deserve it more than anyone else. It didn’t matter who scored as long as we won the Scudetto.”
It was Osimhen’s 46th goal in Serie A, tying him with former AC Milan player and current Liberian president George Weah for the most goals scored by an African in Italy.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, a Georgian winger who joined the squad without much fanfare last summer and became a sensation almost immediately, has also been an outstanding player. He has tallied 12 goals in the competition and provided 10 assists.
Giovanni Simeone believes it is even more “special” for an Argentine to achieve the Scudetto with Napoli than for an Italian.
“It’s a special feeling to be Argentine,” said the striker, who scored three goals in 20 league games while on loan from Hellas Verona to Napoli this season. Diego [Maradona] is an integral part of everyone in Naples, just as he is in Argentina.
Fans never cease to inform me that I am the only Argentine to have witnessed these events since Diego. It’s fantastic, and I’m confident he’s just as pleased as the rest of us.”
La Albiceleste Honors Maradona For Country
Despite his passing, Maradona is still very much alive in the imaginations of Argentina’s supporters. People continue to wear his shirt, scream about his “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup semifinals, and argue about his similarities to Lionel Messi.
In 1986, when Diego Maradona was in command, Argentina last claimed the golden trophy. There were a few similarities between last year’s world cup and the one staged in 1986.
The captain’s headgear on an all-time megastar? Check.
Was the year’s most famous film, Top Gun Maverick (Tom Cruise), released? Check.
On June 29, 1986, Argentina triumphed at the renowned Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Messi was born almost a year after Argentina won the World Cup on June 24, 1987.
On December 18, Messi had a date with his mentor. Diego Armando Maradona Jr. sent Lionel Messi a message on Instagram before the final.
He posted a photograph of Messi and Maradona embracing. He also composed the chant of Argentine supporters and participants during the event.
“In Argentina, I was born, in the land of Diego and Lionel, and I will never forget, the lads of Las Malvinas. I can’t explain it to you, because you just won’t understand, how many years I mourned, for the finals that we lost. But that’s all over now, because at the Maracana, in the final against the Brazilians, Dad won once more. Boys, now we’re dreaming again. I want to win for the third time, I want to be a world champion. And we can see Diego up in heaven, with Don Diego and La Tota, cheering on Lionel.”