On This Day – October 17, 1926: Napoli Score First Goal in Serie A

How long did it take for Napoli to score their first goal in the Italian top-flight? The answer is, just three games.

The author of such a historical feat was Italian-Brazilian defender Paulo Innocenti, who made Napoli’s loss at Genoa on October 17, 1926, a little less bitter. The back then powerful Grifone won 4-1 but the game obviously has a special place in Napoli’s history.

The Partenopei were founded on August 25, 1926 from an initiative from businessman Giorgio Ascarelli. They were immediately admitted to the Italian elite division, which was still called Divisione Nazionale and for the first time was opening its ranks to teams from Central and Southern Italy.

Coached by Austrian midfielder Anton Kreutzer, Napoli started their campaign with two losses to Inter and Alba Audace (one of Roma’s “ancestors”) and didn’t score in either game. Their third match at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium in Genoa also ended with a heavy defeat, but Innocenti managed to temporarily equalize on 23 minutes, scoring Napoli’s first historical goal in the Italian elite division.

Paulo Innocenti was born in Brazil to Italian parents, but migrated back to the Belpaese during his teenage years. Before joining Napoli, he played for two seasons with Bologna, collecting one Italian title in 1925. He would go on to play for Napoli until 1937. After retiring, he chose to remain in Naples, where he opened a bar. He passed away in 1983.

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