Spalletti’s path from hitchhiker to the top and Napoli’s Scudetto hopes

    Luciano Spalletti remembered his long road to Serie A glory after Napoli took another major step towards the Scudetto with a dramatic victory over Juventus.

    Napoli could clinch the title as early as next weekend after Giacomo Raspadori’s 93rd-minute volley gave them a 1-0 victory in Turin on Sunday.

    17 points behind second-placed Lazio with seven games remaining, meaning it will soon be time for Partenopeia, who haven’t won a title since Diego Maradona.

    Spalletti said Napoli would have to “wait to uncork the bottles” but he only hesitantly backed down from their title celebration as he himself had been waiting for this moment for a long time. The coach has yet to win the championship title in his country.

    “I didn’t travel in a window seat,” he told DAZN. “I have always hitchhiked. The fact that I can win this Scudetto rewards all the sacrifices I made.

    “Sometimes I was laughed at because of my boots (on the touchline), but I suffered because of them. I remember well when I couldn’t buy them. Since I had suffered several times before, I put them on this year.

    “I went on a more difficult path than others who start at different levels, and it’s probably right for them too, because in their careers as players they have gained such respect that they start at a higher level.”

    Although Raspadori doesn’t have as difficult a path as Spalletti, his first season at Naples was also not an easy one, limited to just nine Serie A starts due to injury.

    Sunday’s goal was his second of the season, but a big one.

    “I am happy because they showed me that they love me, as they do every day,” said the striker.

    “You can never stand still, it was a difficult moment and I worked to get out of it with the coaching staff. Now I’m glad I scored a goal.”

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