Napoli 'have won the title of honesty' after missing out for years due to 'repeated irregularities', claims Aurelio De Laurentiis
- Napoli about to win first title since 1990
- De Laurentiis suggests cheating from rivals had effect
- Executive now has "great enthusiasm"
WHAT HAPPENED? Napoli are set to clinch the Scudetto this week - either through dropped points from Lazio or any points gained themselves - and De Laurentiis believes the accomplishment is extra sweet considering the scandals of rival clubs since their last Scudetto. He suggested that other teams cheated Napoli out of league success in recent years.
Juventus have been particularly controversial for their role in the Calciopoli scandal and a current probe into alleged financial irregularities. They were docked 15 points this season before the punishment was reversed in court.
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WHAT THEY SAID: “I think we’ve begun this winning cycle some time ago. Then some repeated irregularities affected us,” he said (via Football Italia). “Sometimes we finished second when we should have won. I feel we’ve won more titles, but most importantly, we’ve won the title of honesty.
“I have great enthusiasm, especially after hearing silly things like: ‘De Laurentiis doesn’t want to win the Scudetto.’ Last year, when everyone was leaving and I said I hoped we’d win the title, they looked at me as if to say ‘poor guy.’ I am proud to see the joy in the streets, I’ve contributed to it."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Napoli failed to seal their title triumph last weekend, but their 18-point advantage atop Serie A means it's only a matter of time until they secure the title. Their relentless attacking play has helped them dominate Italy this year, with Victor Osimhen leading the way with 21 league goals and four assists in just 26 appearances.
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WHAT NEXT? Napoli will officially become champions if Lazio don't win on Wednesday against Sassuolo. They can also do the job by drawing or winning on Thursday against Udinese.