How Napoli just won Serie A for the first time since the days of Diego Maradona

Napoli have finally done it! They have won their third ever Scudetto!

It's the first time they've won the league since 1990, and their first ever league win with a squad not including one Diego Armando Maradona.

The Napoli fans are, as you might imagine, going predictably insane.

Having missed their chance to secure the Serie A title at home by failing to beat Salernitana at the weekend, a draw away at Udinese on Thursday night was enough to bring it home.

While that doesn’t sound like the most thrilling scenario, Napoli have actually been one of the most exciting and attacking sides in all of Europe over the past year. They are, as FourFourTwo’s Adam Clery explains in the video above, “the most tactically flexible and circumstantially alert football team in all of Europe”.

This is despite a sense that this would not be a great season for them. Having finished third in the league a year ago, last summer’s transfer window was “brutal”, losing key players like Dried Mertens, Fabian Ruiz and Kalidou Koulibaly.

The replacements did not exactly set the heart racing, but have become some of the smartest acquisitions we’ve seen in years. Kvicha Kvaratshkelia arrived from the Georgian league to establish himself as one of the best young wingers around, Frank Anguissa’s loan move from Fulham was made permanent as he began to dominate midfields, and the purchase of defender Min-jae Kim from Fenerbahce “might be the best transfer in all of Europe this season”.

Manager Luciano Spalletti’s approach is less focussed on formation and more focussed on situations. Nominally, they play a standard 4-3-3 shape and are a possession-based side, averaging 63% possession in Serie A matches this season – the highest in the league by some distance.

But Napoli aren’t a side that simply holds the ball along the backline to drive up those stats: they rank dead last in the Italian league for touches in their own box, and top for touches in the opposing third of the pitch.

And you may have a little bit about striker Victor Osimhen, the 24-year-old striker with 22 league goals this season who is going to be linked with absolutely everyone this summer.

All of this combines to make Napoli once of the most exciting teams to watch this season, and their long-awaited title win very richly deserved.

Want to understand their success in a little more depth? Watch FourFourTwo’s full video on how Napoli won the league on YouTube.

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Conor Pope
Online Editor

Conor Pope is the Online Editor of FourFourTwo, overseeing all digital content, and joined the team in February 2019. He plays football regularly, both on grass and artificial surfaces, and has a large, discerning and ever-growing collection of football shirts from around the world.

He supports Blackburn Rovers and holds a season ticket with south London non-league side Dulwich Hamlet. His main football passions include Tugay, the San Siro and only using a winter ball when it snows.

With contributions from