Luca cried and Brunohis father, was about to crash the cell phone from which they followed the match standing up, amid trumpets and blue smoke bombs, next to the Royal Palace of Naples, in Piazza del Plebiscito.
The Naples-Salernitana draw has fried the revelry of a million people this Sunday who were expected in the historic center of Naples to celebrate the third scudetto of the club that did not win a shield since 1990, when Diego Maradona He was the soul and captain of the team.
“Why are you crying? Just wait 96 hours”, Bruno tried to comfort. But the boy did not understand his father’s calculations.
The 96 hours are the ones that will pass until Thursday 4 May, the next appointment of the Italian Serie A: Napoli will play against Udinese, at the Dacia Arena in Udine, and will finally don the Italian Champion’s tracksuit.
It could be the definitive ranking of the Neapolitan club that this Sunday was unable to respect the forecast. You had to beat Salernitana, on one side, and Lazio, who were second, didn’t have to beat Inter.
But despite the help of Argentinian Lautaro Martínez – the Inter striker scored two goals and gave his team victory over Lazio – Napoli were handcuffed in a draw that broke the bubble in which the Neapolitans celebrate until delirious for days.
“In this moment that (winning the championship) is approaching, it becomes a greater emotional and psychological burden. We’re probably suffering from that,” Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti admitted after the match.
“Party postponed,” reads the evening news.
A cyclothymic Naples that went from euphoria to silence which, honestly, didn’t last long.
Starting at ten in the morning and four hours before the historic center was screened to strengthen security, the procession of fans, flags, choirs and trumpets conquered the Nazario Sauro promenade, the avenue that runs along the Gulf of Naples.
“Endless love (Endless love)”, “Always at your side” recited the blue-and-white flags that ran along the coast up to the Diego Maradona stadium, where almost 60,000 people suffered until the five minutes the referee added after the second half.
There were as many exalted souls inside as outside the stadium. Noise boiled around, and due to the high concentration of cell phones, hardly anyone had a signal.
To go to the stadium, Napoli has even prepared a little blue train with the first verse of the anthem that the fans sing on the pitch. On the one hand it reads: “One day suddenly I fell in love with you… (One day I suddenly fell in love with you)”. On the other side: “Naples champion of Italy”.
In the centre, at the door of the Gran Café Gambrinus –the historic bar that preserves (unwashed) the cups where the former German chancellor Angela Merkel or the Italian president Sergio Mattarella drank their coffee-, Jesica, dressed as a bride, and Antonio, in tails, were looking for a place to take a picture of the newlyweds without fans around. An impossible this Sunday in Naples.
“We have been preparing this wedding for a year.. I can’t believe he coincided with the Scudetto party,” Antonio said to Clarin.
Naples also experiences a long weekend – for the May 1st holiday – which has attracted around 250,000 tourists to the city.
Most regretted the early closure of some Neapolitan highlights, such as the Archaeological Museum or the Royal Palace, due to the festivities.
However, they walked between the fascination and the fear of seeing that the three million Neapolitans who live here were on the streets this Sunday celebrating a title they hadn’t yet conquered.
In the neighborhood that reserved a corner for Maradona, the Quartieri Spagnoli, the streets were empty and silent during the second half of Napoli-Salernitana.
And when the result silenced the explosion of content that has been throbbing among these people for days, many took refuge there, among the murals of dozens of versions of Diego.
But the serenity was hardly a breather. It was enough for four Neapolitans to start singing the verses of “One day all of a sudden…” again and, within minutes, the square was ablaze again.
“We have waited 33 years. Four days don’t change our lives”assured a Neapolitan with the 9 shirt of the Nigerian Víctor Osimhen, Napoli’s favorite striker.
It was getting dark this Sunday in Naples when it started to rain.
Naples Italy. Special Correspondent.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.