Napoli win Serie A: Partenopei end 33-year wait for third scudetto

Napoli have officially, finally, been crowned champions of Italy. Their 33-year wait for a scudetto is over, and they now have their hands on a first-ever Serie A title without Diego Maradona.


The wait is over. Napoli have officially ended their 33-year wait to be crowned champions of Italy as coach Luciano Spalletti finally saw his side get over the line in what will forever be remembered as a historic season for the Partenopei. Their 1-1 draw on Serie A Matchday 33 away at Udinese allowed them to be officially crowned.

Napoli set the pace from early in the 2022/23 Serie A season. Only Atalanta artificially managed to keep pace with them in the early stages of the season, but by Matchday 9 the Partenopei’s lead started to open and it never showed any signs of being closed.

Victor Osimhen celebrates scoring for Napoli against AS Roma. (@en_sscnapoli)

There was temporary hope, at least outside of Naples, that a tough run of fixtures as they returned to action in 2023 after the extended winter break would see them pegged back somewhat, but after losing to Inter they bounced back and a 5-1 hammering of Juventus at the Stadio Diego Maradona put paid to any chance of a title race. That win over The Old Lady saw their lead extend to ten points.

Then it was only a matter of time. The chance to wrap things up presented itself against another side from Campania as Salernitana visited the Maradona on Matchday 32, but jitters got the better of the runaway leaders and they conceded a late goal to draw and put the champagne back on ice. Remarkably, though, Mathias Olivera’s opener for Napoli against Salernitana sparked such jubilation in the city of Naples that tremors resembling an earthquake were felt, even registering on the Richter scale.

Record-equalling scudetto

Napoli just about missed out on the earliest-ever title win in Serie A history. No side had ever won it with six games to spare, as would have been the case had they beaten Salernitana. The record for the earliest scudetto sealing remains with five matchdays to play, with Napoli now sharing the record after getting over the line on Matchday 33. A scudetto won this early has been seen on a handful of occasions, including Juventus 2018/19, Inter 2006/07, Fiorentina 1955/56 and Torino 1947/48.

Soccer Football – Serie A – Napoli v Spezia – Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Naples, Italy – September 10, 2022 Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

Napoli’s 33-year wait for a title was felt sorely in Campania. In fact, only AS Roma had been made to wait longer between scudetti, enduring a 41-year wait between 1942 and 1983. Torino waited 27 years between 1949 and 1976, and Lazio waited 26 years between 1974 and 2000.

Luciano Spalletti, Victor Osimhen, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and co. will go down in Napoli history after this scudetto win. It is also worth remembering that a number of key players including Lorenzo Insigne, Kalidou Koulibaly and Dries Mertens left the club last summer and fans even protested in pre-season due to concern for the direction the team was going in.


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