Napoli are a team that is rapidly climbing up the footballing ladder. In recent years they have been steadily moving up the rungs of Serie A. Qualifying for the Champions League two seasons ago left many wondering if Napoli could potentially become a world footballing powerhouse. In terms of quality, this club has it all; a world-class striker in Edinson Cavani, a midfield maestro in Marek Hamsik and a stopper at the back with Hugo Campagnaro.
Last season though, when they got through the Champions League group stages they seemed on course to do well, going on to hammer Chelsea 3-1 at the San Paolo stadium. They continued to do well in the league, but after letting their lead slip away they lost 4-1 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. This is where the collapse began.
After this, they rapidly slipped out of contention in the league due to them putting too much focus on Europe. They slipped into 7th, which was still good enough for a place in the Europa League.
Moving on to Edinson Cavani; Recently, Napoli’s star man has been under heavy guard by the club due to interest from different clubs. Throughout last season, they were reluctant to admit that the player may leave in the summer.
Of course, they were right to be reluctant, as he is everything to them. He scores, creates and is often the difference between winning and losing. Later on, in the off-season, Cavani signed a new contract until 2017, leaving De Laurentiis, the fans and even his team-mates to breathe a sigh of relief.
Marek Hamsik and Gokhan Inler are quite the partnership in midfield, Inler providing a fearsome determination to win the ball and start attacks combined with Hamsik’s ability to distribute a ball, formed a combination that even the best teams don’t want to play against.
Hugo Campagnaro in the middle of defence provided a strong player who could read the game and win the ball in the ground or the air. Napoli also have an experienced keeper in De Sanctis, who surpassed the expectations of many by doing his job so well in the net.
Assuming that these players stay on top form, I believe that this is a club which genuinely has the potential to win a trophy, possibly the Europa League, and they are probably one of three contenders to win Serie A.
There are still fans who feel that they cannot do well without Lavezzi, who was sold to PSG for €27.5m, but they have definitely looked better without him in the side. I honestly think that Lavezzi was the man standing in the way of a great team.
He was greedy, he didn’t score enough for a winger and in a lot of their matches he looked lazy. With Napoli getting off to such a fantastic start; it seems that they want to prove how great they can be.
Over summer there was another scare for the team as AC Milan made an offer for Hamsik, which Napoli accepted. However, with a deal agreed Napoli came to their senses and told Milan that he was not for sale.
With a strong first team most fans feel that Napoli are title challengers. Surely they will have worked their hardest in training to cope with Serie A and Europa League competition. Success could establish Napoli as one of European football’s top clubs. If they continue to build on their current squad, Napoli could pull off something special this season…
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