After 33 years, the Neapolitans are just one step away from becoming Serie A champions once again. Four Latin Americans are part of the current squad, and they want to make their mark, as well as another group of Latinos who joined the ranks of the 'Gli Azzurri' in the past.
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Felipe Rengifo
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Leer en español: Los jugadores latinoamericanos que dejaron huella en Napoli
Throughout its history, the team from southern Italy has had an outstanding group of Latin American footballers, who with their talent contributed to the history of what is considered the 'Rebel Team' of Calcio.
Diego Armando Maradona
Few adjectives can catalog the meaning of 'Pelusa' for the Neapolitan feeling, the history of the club is divided before and after his arrival. 'El Diego' was the leader of a team that snatched two Scudettos from the legendary Arrigo Sacchi's AC Milan and Michel Platini's Juventus, as well as winning an Italian Cup, a UEFA Cup and an Italian Super Cup. After his passing in 2020, the San Paolo stadium was renamed Diego Armando Maradona.
Alemão and Careca, the Partners of D10S
A Brazilian midfielder and a striker were the other Latin Americans who accompanied the Argentine star on his historic journey through southern Italy. Alemão, champion with his team at the 1989 Copa América, was also key for Napoli. He scored the decisive goal in the UEFA Cup final against Stuttgart. For his part, Antonio Careca was the attacking partner of the 'Golden Kid', together winning local and international titles.
Ezequiel Lavezzi, the Next Argentine Champion
'Pocho' arrived in 2007 as a star reinforcement for 'Gli Azzurri', which was returning to the first division. In the 2011/2012 season, he helped the club qualify for the UEFA Champions League after 21 years. Likewise, he was key to winning the Italian Cup the following season, defeating Juventus in the final.
Edinson Cavani, the 'Charrúa' Scorer
The 'Matador' is synonymous with goals in southern Italy. With the light blue shirt, he surpassed the figure of one hundred goals. In addition, he was Capocannoniere with 29 goals and for having scored hat-tricks against the great teams of Italy, Internazionale, AC Milan and Juventus.
Gonzalo Higuaín, the Record Man
Coming from Real Madrid, 'Pipita' was the top scorer in Serie A twice in a row. In the 2015-2016 season, he broke the Swedish Gunnar Nordahl's record as the top scorer in Serie A, reaching 36 goals, a figure that remains valid today.
David Ospina, the Colombian Lock
Coming from London Arsenal, first on loan and then permanently acquired, he helped the Neapolitan team win the Italian Cup with his saves in the 2019/2020 season. He surpassed one hundred games played with the 'Gli Azzurri' shirt.
Hirving Lozano, the Next Multi-champion Latino
The Mexican won the Italian Cup title in his first season. He also has a very particular record, on January 24, 2021, 'Chucky' scored a goal after 8.9 seconds, being the fastest of the team throughout its history and the third fastest in Serie A.
Giovanni Simeone, the Rookie with the Definitive Goals
With just one season at the club, 'Cholito' has contributed with decisive goals this season. The most remembered was the one he scored against AC Milan at the San Siro on September 18, which ultimately meant the final goal that was the start of this successful season.
There are 21 points left at stake, and Napoli leads Lazio by 17. If the 'Gli Azzurri' continue on this victorious path, in the next days of this championship those led by Luciano Spalletti will establish themselves after 33 years as brand-new champions of Italian soccer.