“We’re going to party all night, all week!” Amid sparklers, fireworks and honking horns, Naples erupted with joy on Thursday when its soccer team won the Italian league, ending a 33-year wait.
“It’s incredible! It’s been a long time! Look at the atmosphere, it’s crazy!” Facundo Quense (33 years old) enthused just after the final whistle for Udinese-
Naples (1-1), from the 33rd day of Serie A.
That tie, more than 800 kilometers away, allowed the long-awaited third ‘Scudetto’ in a mathematical way. For weeks it was clear that Naples was going to be champion and the only thing left to know was the specific date.
“This is a liberation. It’s something you have to experience! Party, party, party! This year is crazy,” shouted Laura Curcio (25 years old), surrounded by other fans who did not stop recording videos and taking selfies to immortalize the moment. As soon as the match in Udine finished, thousands of ‘tifosi’ circulated already through the streets with their flags, scarves and banners, dyeing the city sky blue and white, the colors of the club. The city center was the meeting place for the majority.
In the star alleys of the center, many fans had gathered to watch the game against Udinese on television on terraces set up in the squares and in front of the churches. Around 55,000 fans had gathered at the Diego Maradona stadium to follow the game on giant screens. They trembled first as Udinese took the lead in the 13th minute, but Victor Osimhen’s goal early in the second half brought great relief and made it 1-1.
“We have been waiting for a long time,” recalls Antonio De Roma, a 20-year-old student. “It’s crazy because in his day, when Maradona had won the World Cup with Argentina and the Scudetto with Napoli, my parents talked to me about it. And now I’m living it!”, He was excited. With a scarf behind his back and a bottle of beer in his hand, in front of the Sant’Angelo a Nilo church, Alessandro De Luca (19 years old) was also enjoying the moment.
“For years we have felt relegated to the background, behind the teams from the north. I have not lived through the 33-year drought, but I have cried for this team, both for the defeats and for the victories. Today I am also crying” , insists this student.
SPORTS AND AFP
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