Forget the Scudetto: Napoli Must Aim for Unprecedented Winning Dynasty

On any given Sunday, an underdog can defy all expectations and overcome his enormous foe. Or at least this is how the ancient fairytale goes; a story as old as the courageous King David and the fallen giant Goliath. But like any other fairytale, the accuracy of the plot remains debated.

In the current day and age, Gary Lineker’s concrete, yet brilliant quote remains a perfect depiction to the modern game. The former striker once said: “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”

Well, southern Italians can certainly relate to this statement, because for one reason or another, their representatives often came up short-handed when challenging their northern counterparts. With all their glamour and fame, the trio of Napoli, Roma and Lazio have only collected seven Scudetto titles between them.

The Unprivileged South

While the major gap in trophies and achievements might be astonishing at first sight, it becomes justified when considering the massive landscape between the north and the south from an economic aspect.

Despite what some football purists might claim in their nostalgic glorification of the past, football has always been a business, with the rich prevailing over the poor on most occasions. Hence, Calcio’s archives tell the story of an entire nation, united by its love for the Tricolore, yet divided by fortunes.

Therefore, we often hear the following cliché line: “One Scudetto title for a southern club is worth ten”. Now surely we understand the argument behind it, as a triumph in the south tastes differently. Just ask José Mourinho who burst in tears following Roma’s Conference League victory, surprisingly claiming that this is his greatest career accomplishment, despite a trophy cabinet filled with Champions League and Premier League medals.

However, perhaps this is the perfect time to shatter this sense of inferiority below the Tiber river. Although February hasn’t ended yet, Napoli already have on hand on the Scudetto title, as they look to end a 33-year drought… and in an empathic fashion.

Why Settle for One Scudetto

So while Luciano Spalletti’s men are sweeping opponents aside left and right, an entire city is holding its breath, waiting to flock in to the Piazza del Plebiscito and celebrate its first league title since the glory days of Diego Armando Maradona.

Nevertheless, the imminent euphoric celebrations must not divert the club’s sight away from a potential bigger prize: an unprecedented winning dynasty in southern Italy.

No, we’re not attempting to jinx the Partenopei’s expected league title, but merely suggesting that the concurrent period is providing the team with a unique opportunity, possibly a once-per-generation chance.

With the three northern giants plagued by legal and economic crisis, Napoli are in prime position to build on their current success by dominating the Italian landscape for years to come, while also challenging the greatest sides on the continent.

Actions Speak Louder

Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has often claimed that his side has the healthiest economic structure among the big Italian clubs. So now it’s time for the patron to back his words with action, first and foremost by resisting the temptation to sell the club’s fanciest jewels, namely Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

Eventually, the golden duo will one day decide to embark on new adventures, but the Nigerian striker and the Georgian sensation remain young, so they can still linger in Naples for a few more years before bidding the Stadio Maradona farewell.

Moreover, the likes of Stanislav Lobotka, Kim Min-jae and André-Frank Zambo Anguissa have all been instrumental additions to Spalletti’s winning recipe. Therefore, making too many tweaks to the squad could put the whole project in great jeopardy. After all, we can expect the club’s sporting Cristiano Giuntoli to hit the jackpot with the ideal signings every summer, despite his unquestioned genius.

On the contrary, if Napoli manage to maintain the current combination for another two or three years, even a resurgent Milan, Inter and Juventus would struggle to lure the Scudetto trophy back to the its natural northern habitat.

Sooner or later, Osimhen and company will be wildly celebrating the greatest achievement in the club’s history since Maradona’s epoch, and rightfully so. But rather than settling for imitating the success of El Pibe de Oro, the Azzurri are being presented with the golden chance of elapsing the late 80’s magical period, despite how unthinkable this statement may sound.

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