Bar Sport: Napoli, What a Joy!

Warning! The Cult of Calcio’s “Bar Sport” is not a place for sportsmanship. If you are looking for a well-balanced, objective analysis of the latest Serie A matches, then skip to the next posts: This is a place where supporters can vent freely, and unleash their most visceral passion for football.

Every city, town, or village in Italy has its own Bar Sport – a traditional, genuine café where people from all ages gather before or after a long day of work, to drink a good cup of caffè and discuss, or better fight, about the latest news from the world of calcio at all levels.

There is no room for fair play at the Bar Sport. It’s all about complaining at the latest penalty given or not given to your favorite club, with as little impartiality as possible.

It’s also about “gufare” against the rival teams – “gufare” being a very interesting Italian neologism which means “to act like an owl.” Owls are traditionally rumored to cast bad luck in the Penisola, so by “gufare” you are basically wishing the worst of luck to your opponents – even when they are not playing directly against your team. Nice, uh?

The Cult of Calcio’s Bar Sport officially opens today. Here we will leave room for our writers and contributors to forget about their journalistic objectivity for a moment, and say what they really think from their supporter point of view – just like they were disagreeing to disagree with their football buddies in an Italian bar.

That’s why our columnist and Neapolitan supporter Diego Ottaviano woke up pretty happy this morning after his side’s victory against Roma last night. Here is what he had to say about it:


Napoli, what a joy!

What a wonderful Saturday night! What a shining and sunny Sunday Morning. We are still the capolista!

Napoli won again. Our last victim was a strong Roma side, coached by Eusebio Di Francesco, which saw Partenopei going back home with a classic 1–0 win, a score that juventino Gianluigi Buffon loves so much…

With this victory, Napoli extended their positive winning streak to eight games, with 24 points collected, and a +5 lead over Juventus – which was defeated at home by Lazio. Well, we still need to wait for the score from the Derby della Madonnina, Milan versus Inter. If the Nerazzurri win, Napoli will maintain only a two-point lead on them. So let’s just hope for a draw, or even better for a 1-0 Milan win with a goal at 95’ by Napoli-born Gianluigi Donnarumma (Yes, even if he’s a goalkeeper…)

Against Roma, Maurizio Sarri’s team once again showed some wonderful football, based on ball possession, perfect passing, control and fluid combinations: A joy for football lovers. Well, perhaps not a joy for Juventus Board of Directors member Pavel Nedved, who recently declared ‘Napoli a spectacular team? They only look that way.’

Yes, Pavel, you are right, we only look that way. Such a way that Josep Guardiola defined among the best playing in Europe, or that people like Arrigo Sacchi and Paolo Maldini push towards the…Well, you know what I mean.

So, it is Sunday morning and I am just enjoying reading my favorite Italian newspapers, all defining my Team the Partenopei a perfect machine which doesn’t need any other adjective to be described. Sarri, Hamsik, Mertens, Insigne, Reina – what a save Pepe! – and all the other, please keep it up, let’s show those other teams form the North that Napoli is a joy not only for football lovers.

The road to success, and to the final victory is still long and dangerous. We are just in October, and there are many more matches to be played. Everything can change easily. Well, let’s hope it won’t!

For now, Napoli can only wait to know tonight’s derby score, and thank in the meantime Lazio’s Ciro Immobile, another scugnizzo born and raised under the Vesuvius (and Insigne’s best friend) for the two goals he scored against Juventus yesterday.

Forza Napoli and Forza Napoletani!