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Napoli Blogger On May - 20 - 2011

Napoli Notizie: A Night To Remember Under The Volcano

Seven years hard work finally paid off for Aurellio De Laurentiis, Napoli are in the Champions League proper.

It was a night like no other on Sunday just gone. As the final whistle blew in the 1-1 draw with Inter the emotions were let loose, O Surdato Nnammurato started to play over the P.A. System and celebrations could begin. What followed was over 60 minutes of unbridled joy. I have never seen scenes like those on Sunday night. Players throwing Walter Mazzarri and Aurellio De Laurentiis into the air. A passionate speech from the De Laurentiis thanking Walter Mazzarri and the fans for what the players had done and the customary lap of honour from the players. You would have thought Napoli had actually won Serie A. In some ways Napoli won their very own title by qualifying for the Champions League.

I am yet to experience myself what it is to feel like for my club side to win Serie A. Its true you don’t get anything for finishing second or third but it did to me on Sunday. Maybe because I have been starved of success for so many years I am happy to accept a third place finish or maybe I was overcome with emotion because of what Napoli has been through to get to this stage.

In the time since Maradona won Serie A with Napoli it maybe worth remembering what has happened. Maradona would depart Napoli in shame, the club lurched from one financial crisis to another before getting relegated to Serie B in 1999 with a record low points total, the club would return to Serie A at the turn of the century for one season before disappearing back to the abyss that is Serie B never to be seen again in its current form. Napoli were declared bankrupt in 2004 and it was then Aurellio De Laurentiis started the ‘franchise’ which was forced to start in Serie C. Since then he has worked flat out to get Napoli back to the top of Serie A so this ‘triumph’ is as much his as it is the fans or the players.

But as the dust settles on this wonderful achievement, the goal of Aurellio De Laurentiis for so many years I am left to ask the question, what happens next?

Napoli now have plenty of time to prepare for next season. Qualifying directly to Champions League group stage will mean the players can enjoy a full summer off and recharge the batteries after a long campaign,

Qualification for the Champions League should mean it is easier to attract bigger names to Napoli and bolster a pretty thin squad. The issue surrounding Walter Mazzarri must be sorted out sooner rather than later and a meeting between Aurellio De Laurentiis and Mazzarri is supposed to happen very soon.

Napoli’s transfer policy this summer will be affected by the outcome of the meeting between Mazzarri and De Laurentiis. Udiense midfielder Gokhan Inler is the name journalists in Italy are saying Walter Mazzarri wants at the club while some are saying Napoli are actually wanting Parma’s midfielder Blerim Džemaili. For me this is what is causing friction between coach and owner. If Walter Mazzarri gets the assurance in what players are coming in to the club (i.e. Inler) then he will stay. If he thinks Napoli are trying to buy cheaper, less able players then he will depart as he may feel he can’t repeat what he has achieved this season.

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