Monday, May 21, 2012


Napoli denied Serie A champions Juventus the double when they won their first major title since the Diego Maradona era by beating the Turin side 2-0 in the Italian Cup final on Sunday handing Alessandro Del Piero an unhappy end to 19 seasons at the club    

Thirty Seven years old Del Piero, who, was told earlier this season that his contract at Juventus would not be renewed, was given a standing ovation when he was substituted midway through the second half.   

Although Juventus had completed their 38-match campaign in Serie A without losing, there was some debate over their 2-2 Italian Cup draw after extra time against AC Milan in their semi-final second leg. Milan claimed that, as they were winning 2-1 at the end of 90 minutes, that should count as a Juventus defea

Edinson Cavani broke the deadlock with a penalty just after the hour and Marek Hamsik finished off a counter-attack as Napoli claimed their first trophy since the Maradona-inspired team won Serie A in 1989/90.    

'This was a club that didn't exist, said Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, a film-maker who refounded the club after it was declared bankrupt in 2004 and led it from Serie C back to the top flight.  

'In a few years we've brought something home, above all the knowledge that Napoli exists, lives and can be the world champion of the sport.'

Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri said: 'It seemed unthinkable to beat Juve. They hadn't ever lost this season (in Serie A) and to beat them 2-0 was magnificent work. The team has done something extraordinary in the last three years: Cavani, (Ezequiel) Lavezzi, Hamsik are on everyone's lips, but it's an entire team that should be acclaimed as one.'   

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