After Napoli’s magnificent victory over Juventus the other night, many fans worldwide gained faith at their team being inches closer to winning the Scudetto, sitting only one point behind their rivals.
However overall, this was a heated match-up between Italy’s industrial north and agrarian south. Many Neapolitans feel as if they have won a political, sporting and cultural battle against the Bianconieri. Similar to the Maradona era, many Tifosi expressed their emotions of joy and pride spilling out onto the streets and Quatieri of Naples all night greeting and welcoming their players from the airport well into sunrise.
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Vincenzo Tolli, a life-long Napoli fan and blogger from the town of Nola which neighbors Cimitile where my roots are from.
Ciao Vincenzo, can you tell us a little about yourself and your favorite memory of being a Napoli fan?
I am 40 years old and work for the public sector. I was born and live in Nola, a town of about 40,000 inhabitants in the province of Naples. I have many great memories of Napoli, I could mention thousands (laughs). If I had to choose only one, I would say when Napoli won the Coppa Italia against Juventus in 2012. I choose this game because after the dark years of relegation and financial failures in Serie C, this match symbolized the revival of the Partenopei and their return to victory after almost 22 years.
Who is your favorite Napoli player and why?
My favorite player of present-day Napoli is surely captain Marek Hamsik, for his attachment to the jersey, for marrying a Neapolitan woman, and for choosing the love of Neapolitans over money or a big contract. He truly shows affection to the club and our fans, genuinely wanting to represent the Napoli colors and badge.
How have you embraced the love for this team on Twitter and other social media compared to the fans living in Napoli?
It is only recent that I have been on Twitter, but I can say without a doubt the community of Napoli fans present on social media is numerous, passionate, and growing rapidly. Cheers to the fans worldwide knowing how to love and support our team. I can say the same thing about the fans in my city, the Neapolitan supporter stands out for their unconditional love for Napoli, which is seen by many other Neapolitans and fans throughout the world.
Tell us about your Napoli fan blog and how it started?
“My blog on Facebook is called “Non provate A Fermarci NOI SIAMO IL NAPOLI”! (DO not try to stop us we are NAPOLI!) I started it 7 years ago with my passion for the team. The blog was created for recreational use but has now become a popular site for many Napoli fans. To this date we have 110,00 followers, and I manage it alone by just trying tom convey my immense love the blue colors, my passion, and my attachment to Napoli through images, articles, memes, and a pinch of ironic jokes which never hurts (laughs).”
Where do you commonly watch the matches and what was your reaction to that late magnificent goal by Koulibaly?
I mostly watch the games at home with family and friends. I do not have a favorite bar or restaurant. The wonderful goal of Koulibaly made me cry with joy. There were many difficult emotions to describe- (it) started from the soul and resulted in sweet happy tears. It was one of the most beautiful emotions that I (have) experienced as a fan of Napoli and I will forever keep it in my heart. I can only imagine my emotions if Napoli manage to pull of the Scudetto.
By Mark Mangianello Follow @mangianellomark