SSC Napoli: Football in the Partenope

Watching a football match at the magnificent Stadio San Paolo in Naples is an experience that everyone can enjoy. Italian football fans are so passionate that even people who are not particularly interested in the ‘beautiful game’ are sure to get swept up in the enthusiasm.

Italian football players are known for their dramatic styles, and there is never a dull moment when you watch a football match in Naples. Matches tend to be extremely fast paced and no matter who wins, players and supporters of both teams take part in the celebrations at the end of a match and these celebrations tend to go on long into the night.

I recently watched SCC Napoli play at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples. This large football stadium was opened to the public in 1959 and was designed by local architects Carlo Cocchia and Luigi Corradi. The stadium was extensively renovated in 1990 and although it originally had the capacity to hold 87,500 football fans, these days the pitch and surrounding facilities have been enlarged, which means that only 60,240 people can attend a match. Despite this, the Stadio San Paolo remains the third largest football stadium in the whole of Italy.

The Stadio San Paolo is home to the local team Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli, which was founded in 1926. The club has been extremely successful over the years and throughout most of its history has scored a prominent place in Serie A.

In fact, SSC Napoli is the most successful football club in southern Italy and the team has won Serie A twice to date, while they have also won the Coppa Italia an impressive four times and won the UEFA Cup during the 1988-89 season.

Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli is my favourite Italian football team and I try to catch a match whenever I am in Naples. However, I often have to ask a friend to arrange tickets for me, as the passion of local supporters means that tickets are often sold out several weeks before a big match. This time I was lucky and I arrived in Naples just in time to watch SSC Napoli play the French team Olympique de Marseiile.

Tensions were running high as I took my seat in the stadium, which can be found in the western suburbs of Fuorigrotta in Naples. As usual the entire stadium was full of football fans and the roar of the crowd was almost deafening.

I was pleased to see that all of my favourite players were in full force, including Local legend Maggio, mid fielder Davide Bariti and team captain Paolo Cannavaro. Unfortunately local goal keeper Antonio Rosati is out on loan at the moment, but his substitute Rafael certainly worked his magic.

Fortunately, SSC Napoli beat Olympique de Marseiile 2-1 and the atmosphere was absolutely electric. Of course, after the match my friends and I took to the town, surrounded by hundreds of other football fans and the night that followed was perhaps as memorable as the match itself.

 

Greg has supported SCC Napoli since childhood. He is enjoys traveling to away games and is also contributor to a challenge blog.

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