Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris has taken to Facebook to launch a tirade aimed at defending Serie A champions Juventus. The Old Lady are on course to retain their title for an incredible seventh consecutive season thanks to a superb comeback victory against Inter Milan.
Juventus only returned to Serie A in 2007 following their circumstantial relegation for their part in the infamous Calciopoli scandal. It took the club an additional four years to re-establish themselves in the title picture, but they have since gone on to win six titles and three Coppa Italia.
Not everyone is happy at their success though; this latest result leaves closest challengers Napoli, four points adrift with just three games left to play. Napoli had closed the gap to just a point after beating Juventus the week before, but fortunes turned this past weekend to all but hand the title to the Turin outfit.
Juventus also benefited from a number of fortuitous officiating decisions in the crunch clash with Inter and De Magistris appeared to call them out on it this week. As translated by the Daily Mail:
“I’ll always be a proud Neapolitan, in joy and sorrow, with our flaws and strengths
“Our city and the Neapolitan people are tired of injustice. We’ll take back everything you’ve taken from us. We’ll conquer what belongs to us. It’s nothing more than what we have a right to.
“The difference between us and those who usurp our rights is that we still live to be loving and have a great and profound sense of humanity, while they feel strong and powerful by stealing from the state or football.
“We’ll take it all back, without any complaints or a hat in hand but with a fight and our backs straight.
“Our dignity is priceless, our thirst for justice is vast and profound. Unity wins, knocking down the palaces of corrupt powers while conquering our targets.”
Social and political divides are still very much rife in Italy, particularly between the North and the South where regional slurs have evolved such as ‘polentone’ and ‘terrone’. This political and social tension has added an extra dimension to what has been one of the most thrilling title races in recent years.
The geography of the two cities is sure to add fire to this rivalry and De Magistris has probably strengthened his political position within Naples. As a football club though, Napoli still have a long way to go to compete with Juventus, a four-point gap is the least of the differences between the two sides.