Why Napoli Are the Most Exciting Team to Watch in Europe

Jack Alexandros Rathborn@@jackrathbornContributor IIIMarch 22, 2013

NAPLES, ITALY - MARCH 17:  Edinson Cavani of Napoli celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Atalanta BC at Stadio San Paolo on March 17, 2013 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

It has been tough to decipher whether Napoli are enjoying a successful season or not. Regardless, they have been the most exciting team in European football, with drama constantly following the Partenopei. They've overcome bankruptcy and enforced relegation, along with penalties originally handed to the club due to match fixing by a former player.

One of the reasons why Napoli are so exciting is Walter Mazzarri—labelled the Italian Sir Alex Ferguson by some.

There is a touch of hyperbole surrounding this comparison, but this is not such a bad thing for the neutral fan who tunes in to watch Napoli.

Mazzarri's tactical arsenal is such that it allows the opposition to play in a style that will make for an entertaining game.

The 3-4-2-1 that Mazzarri has used staunchly over the past couple of seasons has revolutionised European football, bringing back the three centre-back defence at Champions League level and enjoying great success in the process.

It is exciting to see a clash of cultures being blended into this original system, utilising a collection of Italian players while also astutely selecting a range of players from all over the world, from Slovakia to Uruguay.

Then there is the Stadio San Paolo, which, in theory, should not have any sort of importance when considering the best stadia in Europe due to the running track that surrounds the pitch. It is rare to find a stadium with a running track that can produce such a fiery atmosphere, further bolstering the excitement surround Napoli.

To experience a goal at a packed Stadio San Paolo is one of the most spine-chilling moments that the sport can offer.

The relationship that the ultras have with the players is a special bond that is not replicated elsewhere in Europe. Unlike any club in European football, the players know that they have the opportunity to be held in the highest esteem in the city of Naples, something of far greater value than any trophy—Neapolitans have been known to carry two pictures in their wallets, Jesus and then Diego Maradona.

Ezequiel Lavezzi was the closest to El Diego, but since his move to PSG, the ultras have given Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik a greater place in their hearts.

To see stars like this on the rise is a special moment for a fan.

Cavani and Hamsik could be picked up by bigger clubs or those with more money than Napoli, as was the case with El Pocho. Already Real Madrid have been strongly linked with El Matador, according to the Daily Express. The excitement of witnessing them in an environment where they will be granted greater freedom to express themselves than would ever be possible at clubs like Real Madrid is a real treat.

The last thing that is so exciting about Napoli is the emotion that their youth products or players from the city of Naples display when donning the famous Azzurri shirt.

Paolo Cannavaro is as passionate as they come. The capitano not only represents the football club, but the city itself.

The affection for a shirt is evident to the viewer. One cannot help but see that they have a soft spot for Napoli, no matter their first love in football.

Napoli might not be the best side in European football, but they are the most exciting team that European football has to offer.


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