Napoli fans swarm onto streets to celebrate Italian Cup win

Napoli’s supporters celebrate in downtown Naples after Napoli won the TIM Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) final against Juventus at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. (AFP)
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Updated 19 June 2020

Napoli fans swarm onto streets to celebrate Italian Cup win

NAPLES, Italy: Thousands of Napoli fans swarmed onto the streets of Naples late Wednesday to wildly celebrate their team’s first trophy in six years after a dramatic Italian Cup penalty shootout victory over Juventus.

The match in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico was played behind closed doors because of the strict post-coronavirus health protocol.

But in Naples an estimated 5,000 fans celebrated in the city’s historical center after the 4-2 penalty win after the match against the Juventus of their former coach Maurizio Sarri ended 0-0.

Parades of cars and scooters began at the final whistle and gatherings took place in different parts of the city, with flares and fireworks lit and fans brandishing scarves and banners in praise of Napoli or mocking Juventus.

Most of the celebrations were in Piazza Trieste e Trento, in the city’s historic center, and the traditional meeting place for club tifosi on victory days.

In the midst of the flags, the horns and the songs, dozens of people threw themselves into the Artichoke fountain, in the center of the piazza.

Napoli had not won a trophy since 2014, the year they won both the Italian Cup and Super Cup.

They have won Serie A twice, back in the days of Argentine great Diego Maradona in 1987 and 1990.

The cup triumph was their sixth in the competition against a team who have won a record 13 and are coached by Sarri, who acrimoniously left Napoli for Chelsea in 2018 before joining the Turin giants this season.

Napoli have been reborn under coach Gennaro Gattuso who took over from Carlo Ancelotti in December.

They are sixth in the league table with Serie A returning this weekend after a three-month absence due to the coronavirus.

 


‘I couldn’t see where I was going,’ says Lewis Hamilton after Austria rain masterclass

Updated 11 July 2020

‘I couldn’t see where I was going,’ says Lewis Hamilton after Austria rain masterclass

  • After a disappointing practice day on Friday, the six-time world champion bounced back to his best

SPIELBERG, Austria: Lewis Hamilton said he survived some “heart in the mouth” moments on Saturday as he claimed a spectacular pole position in treacherous rain-swept conditions for Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix.
After a disappointing practice day on Friday, the six-time world champion bounced back to his best as he outpaced nearest rival Max Verstappen of Red Bull by more than 1.2 seconds.
His dramatic demonstration of supreme skill and speed on a wet track at the Red Bull Ring increased his record total of pole positions to 89.
“Honestly, I am pleased with that,” he said.
“What a tricky day! The weather is obviously incredibly difficult out there for all of us and, a lot of the time, you cannot actually see where you are going.
“I had one big moment, on the lap before last, when I had a big aquaplane.
“I had my heart in my mouth, but I was able to improve on the last lap, nice and clean. I love these days.”
The 35-year-old Briton had struggled with set-up issues on his Mercedes in Friday’s practice sessions, but said the team had resolved them and he was confident about Sunday’s race, whatever the conditions.
“Yesterday was a difficult day,” said Hamilton.
“It started off well in FP1 and then in FP2 there was a big issue for us, but we discovered it overnight — nothing major.
“I think today would have been better for us if it had been dry, but I am grateful for the rain, like always! I love these kind of conditions.
“Tomorrow looks like a much sunnier day, but we are prepared for both conditions and that’s where I want to start.
“So, I am glad it was a trouble-free session with no mistakes. That’s always a positive.”
Hamilton’s performance enabled him to prove also that his form has not been affected by his passionate support for the global Black Lives Matter movement and the anti-racism efforts launched in Formula One.
“I don’t feel like I need to refocus,” he said this week after finishing fifth in last Sunday’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix on the same circuit, won by his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
“My race was pretty strong. I need to do a better job, but I wouldn’t say I was distracted. I am focused on both — trying to fight and win this championship, but also fighting for equal rights.”
On Thursday, he said he was hoping to be able to take the knee again — as he and 13 other drivers did before last Sunday’s race — and was seeking a way to make this possible.
“If I can find a way of making sure it doesn’t get in the way of us doing our job, then I will,” he said.