On the other side of Napoli, in the stadium now named after Maradona, there was a tribute to the club’s most outstanding player: his image on banners, flags and scarves, his number 10 on the back of the shirts.
As Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti said after Partenopi clinched his first league title since Maradona led the team to the 1987 and 1990 championships, the legacy of the late Argentine star made a difference.
“These fans have seen great coaches come and go. They have seen Diego Armando Maradona play and perhaps his influence is also felt in this success,” said Spalletti.
Unlike the Maradona years, this Napoli title was not about a single player but rather a well-managed unit that often beat opponents who excelled in every department: goalscoring leader Victor Osimhen up front, league assistant Khavisa Kvaratskilia on the left. winger, expert passing Stanislav Lobotka in midfield and the physical presence of Kim Min-jae at centre-back – not to mention their veteran coach.
Napoli clinched the trophy with a 1-1 draw at Udinese on Thursday. Osimhen tied Napoli early in the second half by redirecting a rebound after Sandy Lovrich put Udinese ahead early on, according to the Associated Press.
Napoli have an indomitable 16-point lead over second-placed Lazio with five rounds to go.