venerdì 18 ottobre 2013

Roma-Napoli, "The Derby of the Sun" smells of Scudetto

Rudi Garcia:"Napoli are favourite". Benitez: "We can win". Totti vs Insigne, challenge within a challenge. The Olimpico stadium is militarized. Maradona is in Italy. Will el Pibe de Oro go to the stadium? 

Someone calls it "The Derby of the Sun", others "South Derby". This year let's call it "Derby of the discord" or "Derby of the public order". The attention of all Italian supporters is eventually concentrated on this match that smells of Scudetto, but in the previous days Roma-Napoli was, first of all, a problem of security measures. Today, in Rome, USB trade union will march in the center of the city. But the match will take place unusually on Friday, because tomorrow, NO TAV movement - a group that opposes the high-speed railway network planned to be implemented in the Susa Valley (on Italy-France border) - will demonstrate in the city. Was it impossible to guarantee the right to protest and the regular execution of the match on Saturday?

Meanwhile Aurelio De Laurentiis, Napoli's president and important film producer, announced: "Millions of people around the world will watch the match", AS Roma - which invited to the stadium Diego Armando Maradona - raised in price the tickets of the match. The final result? De Laurentiis will watch the match on Tv from Los Angeles and James Pallotta, the american Roma's President, will be at Olimpico Stadium that will be sadly half-filled. At this moment, 40.000-45.000 supporters (6.000 Neapolitans) have the ticket.

But Roma and Napoli, in this moment, deserve an overcrowded stadium. They are leading the table with Juventus, play a good football, have charismatic coaches and talented players that can give to entire Serie A a match of vertigo. In these first seven matches, Roma didn't miss a shot (21 points). Napoli goofed up on Sassuolo at San Paolo Stadium but for the rest demonstrated balance and strength (19 points). Totti (37) versus Insigne (22) can be the challenge within a challenge, as Garcia versus Benitez. Roma's coach grounded: "We aren't a perfect machine. They are the favorite for this match, but I don't sign up for a draw". The Spaniard doesn't fear Roma and declares: "We can win at Olimpico Stadium too". A stadium that will be militarized by security force.

It's a big pity that Italian football can't live to the best of its history this moment. In the past Roma-Napoli was many times a colored and intense game (two branches of ultras were twins for a long time) beyond the value for league table. And to celebrate this classic match, we have chosen for you some significant Roma – Napoli of the past.

March 19th 1959. The derby of the sun has betrayed his name. Under a heavy rain,  AS Roma, that had lost in Napoli 0-3 the previous November, dreamt their revenge. Roma came from a series of losses and bad results, and the trainer Gunnar Nordhal (yes, the Swedish firefighter) was re-called again on the bench after the quick farewell at the beginning of the season.

Napoli came from the good result of the previous season and his trainer was Amedeo Amadei (the “Fornarino -little baker- of Frascati”) for a long time a flag of Roma. Not only rain falled down for Napoli that day, but 8 balls crossed their goal line. With an hat - trick of Da Costa and 2 goals scored  by “Ray of moon” Selmosson, Napoli suffered his  highest loss in their history in Serie A. Paradoxically, the men of the match was Bugatti, Napoli’s goalkeeper. His name was Ottavio  - that means “eighth” - strange joke of destiny was the comment at the end of the match!  Final score: Roma - Napoli 8-0

Febraury 20th 1983.  This match was like tradition wanted, rich of goals and emotions. It Can be considered the march where AS Roma understood the real possibility of winning his 2nd  Scudetto. In the same day the immediately followers of Roma lost their match (Hellas Verona and Inter). Napoli of Pesaola (that risked the retrocession to serie B) was maybe one of the few teams that created difficulties at the Olimpico of Rome. Ramon Diaz Scored 0-1 for Napoli, and after the temporary tie of Nela, always Diaz  devoured the easy goal of 1-2. As the unwritten law of football wants, Goal-missed means Goal conceded: 2 minutes and Ancelotti said 2-1. From that moment the Liedholm team started his monologue with two goals of unforgettable Captain Di Bartolomei (at his 200th serie A match) and Roberto Pruzzo (with his wife at the hospital for severe bleeding). Final score: Roma  - Napoli 5-2

October 26th 1986. This match represented an ideal passage of “relay baton” between Roma (that was the antagonist to the northern football teams in the early 80s) and Napoli that will dominate the last 80s. The men of the match was Diego Armando Maradona that scored at the beginning of second half the final 0-1. Over 15.000 fans come from Napoli to celebrate the victory in Rome, after 10 years. With this success Napoli reached the first position in league table that will maintain till the end of the season. For his 1st scudetto.

October 25th 1987. A great Napoli, with the Scudetto already on his shirt, at the beginning of the second half was losing 0-1. Incredible. A goal for Roma was scored by the substitute Roberto Pruzzo, at his sunset with the yellow-reds colors. It was the last of the 106 goals scored for Roma. Some players of Napoli lost their control and also an unlucky refereeing reduces the team in 9 (red card for Renica and Careca). At 67’ after a corner of Maradona, the defender Francini between a series of Roma’s players scored the final 1-1, with a perfect header. There was the explosion of over 25.000 Napoli supporters on the bleachers. At the end of the match a midfielder of Napoli, Salvatore Bagni, addressed to Roma’s supporter the “Italian Salute”. This gesture officially broke the 11 years' twinning between the two team's supporters. Monday morning. In the “Bar CIRO” - a small Napoli’s island in Rome province - only these words were repeated aloud, between the silence of the other clients: ”AVIMM’ NOV’ LIONI! NOV’ LIONI!”. In Neapolitan dialect: “We have 9 lions”. That day Olimpico probably seemed Colosseum for Napoli and his supporters. Final score: Roma - Napoli 1-1


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