Luciano Spalletti recalled his long journey to Serie A glory after Napoli took another significant step towards the Scudetto with a dramatic win at Juventus.
Napoli could wrap up the title as soon as next weekend after Giacomo Raspadori’s 93rd-minute volley gave them a 1-0 victory in Turin on Sunday.
The gap to second-placed Lazio is 17 points with seven games remaining, meaning it will surely soon be party time for the Partenopei, who have not won the title since the days of Diego Maradona.
Spalletti said Napoli would have to “wait to uncork the bottles”, but he only half-heartedly talked down their title celebrations having had his own long wait to this point. The coach is yet to win a league title in his home country.
“I haven’t travelled in the window seat,” he told DAZN. “I’ve always hitch-hiked. The fact that I am in a position to win this Scudetto repays all the sacrifices I’ve made.
For those who always believed.
For those who stopped believing.
IT’S FOR YOU.
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) April 23, 2023
“Sometimes I was made fun of because of my boots [on the touchline], but I suffered to have those. I remember well when I couldn’t buy them. Since I suffered a few times before, this year I put them on.
“I took a more difficult road than others who start from different levels, and it’s probably right for them, too, because in their careers as players they gained such esteem as to start from a higher level.”
While Raspadori has not quite had the same difficult path as Spalletti, his first season in Naples has also not been straightforward, limited to only nine Serie A starts due to injury.
Sunday’s goal was his second of the season, but it was a big one.
“I am happy because they have shown me that they love me, as they do every day,” the forward said.
“There is never a moment to stand still, it was a difficult moment and I worked to get out of it together with the coaching staff. Now, I’m happy for the goal.”
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