Napoli seal Scudetto with Maradona's help, says Spalletti
Luciano Spalletti said Thursday that Diego Maradona was watching over Napoli and helped his old club finally secure a Serie A title which had been missing since the Argentine icon's playing days.
Maradona, who died in 2020, is considered by many the greatest ever footballer and he spent his peak years at Napoli, where he won two league titles and the 1989 UEFA Cup.
Homages to Maradona can be found all over Naples and he is considered a patron saint by a football-mad city whose team had never reached the same heights since his departure in 1991.
"They (the fans) have seen great coaches and great players, they're supporters who watched Maradona play, and probably some kind of protection from him has led to this result," coach Spalletti told DAZN.
Napoli won their third Scudetto after a 1-1 draw at Udinese which gave them a 16-point lead over Lazio with five matches to play.
It is the first Italian league title of Spalletti's long and eventful coaching career, and the charismatic Tuscan was almost overcome with emotion as he can no longer be considered Italian football's nearly man.
He dedicated the win to his family and in particular to his brother Marcello, who died four years ago, almost bursting into tears when thinking about his late sibling.
"I dedicate this to the players, who deserved this moment of happiness. Then to all the fans –- Naples, this is for you!" he shouted to the fans who had found their way into the bowels of the Dacia Arena.
"And finally for everyone at Napoli, to my staff, (sporting director Cristiano) Giuntoli, the club. And Matilde, my daughter, my whole family for pushing me forward. My friends and my brother Marcello..."