Napoli crowned Serie A champions as Victor Osimhen sparks wild scenes

Napoli became just the third Serie A side ever to be crowned champions with five games to spare – after Inter Milan in 2007/08 and Juventus in 2018/19 – as they ended a 33-year wait for a title on Thursday night. Courtesy of a 15-point gap to Lazio in second, Napoli needed just a point away at Udinese and despite trailing for 39 minutes, Victor Osimhen’s equaliser in the second half was enough for a 1-1 draw and glory which sparked manic scenes in both Udine and Naples.

Osimhen was on hand to fire home from inside the box after Khvicha Kvaratskhelia saw a shot saved early in the second half. That cancelled out Sandi Lovric’s stunner to spark a massive title party. 

Osimhen has now scored more Serie A goals this season than any African player ever. Samuel Eto’o previously held the record with Inter after scoring 21 times in the 2010-11 season but Osimhen has now bettered that. The Nigerian is up to 22 for the year.

It is just the third time in the club’s history that Napoli have won the Serie A title and they have done so for the first time since club legend Diego Maradona led them to titles in 1987 and 1990. Spalletti’s side had the chance to clinch the title at home with a win against Salernitana last Saturday.

Celebrations after Mathias Olivera’s opener were cut short when the visitors equalised six minutes from time with Frenchman Boulaye Dia’s goal spoiling the party. Despite that draw, coach Luciano Spalletti spoke about how much the league title means to fans after a long wait.

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“We’re chasing a dream that everyone deserves,” said the Napoli coach. “There are still steps to be taken and we’re ready for the final push. We’re so close and we’ll do what it takes to get the points we need.

“Seeing Napoli win the Scudetto will be an exhilarating experience because it’s a pleasure to watch them play. The final stretch is always the hardest but we’ll enjoy the extended journey as we make it to our destination.

“We’re so close to our goal and we’ll bring our best qualities to the pitch. We want to be remembered for all the great things we’ve achieved this year. We’ll work hard to show what we can do to everyone who supports us and to all the fans who have been incredible. They deserve our total dedication and we’ll do everything we can to achieve our dream together.”

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Napoli have been helped towards the title by 24-year-old striker Osimhen who has Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester United fighting for his signature in the coming months.

The 24-year-old has scored 26 goals in 30 games in all competitions this season and Napoli could demand £120million for any clubs to bring him to England in the summer.

After working his way into the Ultimate Strikers Academy in his home country of Nigeria it was during the FIFA under-17 World Cup that Osimhen attracted the focus of European teams. Osimhen is considered as a complete No 9 due to his technical ability, strength in the air, sharpness and athletic physique.

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