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
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.
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.'
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.'