Napoli won their first major title since the Diego Maradona era, denied Serie A champions Juventus the double and handed their captain Alessandro Del Piero an unhappy end to 19 seasons at the club by beating the Turin side 2-0 in the Italian Cup final on Sunday.
Edinson Cavani broke the deadlock with a penalty just after the hour and Marek Hamsik finished off a counter-attack as Napoli claimed their first trophy since the Maradona-inspired team won Serie A in 1989/90. Juventus had substitute Fabio Quagliarella sent off in the 89th minute for a full-blooded elbow in the face of Salvatore Aronica after only 17 minutes on the pitch.
“This was a club that didn’t exist, said Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, a film-maker who refounded the club after it was declared bankrupt in 2004 and led it from Serie C back to the top flight. “In a few years we’ve brought something home, above all the knowledge that Napoli exists, lives and can be the world champion of the sport.”
Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri said: “It seemed unthinkable to beat Juve. The team (Napoli) has done something extraordinary in the last three years: Cavani, (Ezequiel) Lavezzi, Hamsik are on everyone’s lips, but it’s an entire team that should be acclaimed as one.”