After a 33-year wait, Napoli has finally claimed their third Serie A title, sparking wild celebrations throughout Naples and beyond.
The city erupted for Victor Osimhen's goal in the 1-1 draw against Udinese, which secured the Scudetto for the southern Italian side. The question on everyone's mind, in the aftermath, was whether this historic achievement was a surprise or an inevitable outcome.
Heading into the season
Heading into the season, sbobet bookmaker and other platforms placed Napoli’s odds on winning the title at around 20/1, putting their chances below Inter Milan, Juventus, AC Milan, and Roma’s.
What didn’t help as that Luciano Spalletti's appointment as head coach at the beginning of the season raised a few eyebrows. But very quickly, the experienced Italian manager, who has had stints at Roma, Inter Milan, and Zenit St. Petersburg, quickly silenced his doubters by leading Napoli to an impressive start. Going unbeaten in the first 15 games, including an 11-match winning streak, the team's momentum seemed unstoppable and they soon became favourites for the title.
Napoli's success this season can also be attributed to the outstanding performances of key players, such as Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. Nigerian forward Osimhen has been in scintillating form, scoring 22 goals and matching George Weah's record as the top African scorer in Italy. Meanwhile, Georgian winger Kvaratskhelia, who arrived last summer as an unheralded signing, contributed 12 league goals and 10 assists.
Despite the departures of club legends such as Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens, and Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli's remaining squad members rose to the occasion. Players like Kim Min-jae and Eljif Elmas have asserted themselves on the European stage, attracting the interest of other leading clubs.
Napoli's triumph has been hailed by the Italian press as a historic event, with many publications paying tribute to the late Diego Maradona, who led the club to their previous Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990. The Argentine legend's presence has been felt throughout the season, and his memory has undoubtedly played a part in inspiring the team to success.
The Scudetto victory is also significant as it represents the first time a club south of Italy's traditional soccer capitals of Milan and Turin has won the league since Roma claimed the title in 2001. Napoli's achievement demonstrates that the power balance in Italian football is shifting, with more clubs from different regions now capable of mounting a serious title challenge.
While Napoli's Serie A triumph may have been a surprise to some, the team's outstanding performances and unwavering determination throughout the season ultimately made their success a deserved outcome – particularly for those watching closely. It became an inevitability towards the second half of the season, and the city of Naples can now celebrate its heroes, both old and new.
As Napoli and its fans continue to revel in their historic achievement, the rest of the footballing world will be watching closely to see if this remarkable success heralds a new era in Italian football. With a talented squad, an experienced coach, and a passionate fan base, Napoli has proven that they are a force to be reckoned with heading into next season.