Monday June 10 2019
Napoli stung by Sarri betrayal

Napoli fans feel understandably betrayed by Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus move and Massimo Nuzzo understands their pain.

After Juventus announced Massimiliano Allegri would be departing the club after five years, calcio fans were quick to drum up a list of potential successors. Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte (who has now joined Inter), and Lazio’s Simone Inzaghi were all names linked with the job.

However, surprising and even shocking rumors surfaced that Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is the priority for President Andrea Agnelli. The potential move comes with massive amounts of controversy, seeing as Sarri spent three years with one of Juve’s biggest rivals, Napoli.

As expected, the rumours were not taken lightly in Naples. Many fans were quick to voice their anger at Sarri even being mentioned as a possible candidate for the job in Turin. “Traitor” is a word that was often heard from Napoli tifosi, considering the impact the 60-year-old tactician had on the Partenopei.

Sarri, a Neapolitan by birth, is often credited by many for allowing Napoli to dream again. His free-flowing style of play that proved so fruitful for the Azzurri was admired by many and allowed the club to be spoken of highly within world football. In the 2017-18 season, it seemed as if Sarri was finally going to bring Napoli their first Scudetto since the Diego Maradona era. They eventually came just short, losing out to Juventus by four points.

Do Napoli fans have a right to feel betrayed if Sarri joins Juve? The answer is simple: Yes.

It’s a similar situation to that of Gonzalo Higuain when he joined Juventus from Napoli back in the summer of 2016. Pipita’s departure was met with shouts of “traitor” and “snake”, as well as many burning the Argentine striker’s jersey as a representation of their anger. Higuain was loved by the people of Naples, and some fans believed he would be the successor to Maradona. This is why it hurt so much. Sarri finds himself in the same position, even if he did stop off at Chelsea along the way.

Sarri railed against the ‘powers that be’ represented by the Bianconeri, talking of the working-class revolution to rise up and take down the upper classes, those born with a silver spoon in their mouth and a Scudetto in their hand. He was meant to overturn the power structure in Serie A and end the Juventus hegemony, leading his people forward with cigarette in one hand and sword in the other.

Yet there was another revolution Sarri was meant to represent and he still can. While Allegri insisted the result was the only thing that mattered and beautiful football represented a waste of energy, Sarri was held up by Arrigo Sacchi, Pep Guardiola and many pundits as the best tactician in Italy. Juventus have won eight consecutive Serie A titles, but if anything, the enthusiasm has waned rather than built up. Boredom set in both on and off the pitch.

Italian football is famously obsessed with results and winning at all costs, so bringing in the artist of the beautiful game to run the most cynical of all clubs feels like a cultural revolution. Will he change Juve or will Juve change Sarri?

That is, of course, another reason why Napoli fans feel so betrayed. Sarri will be taking everything he applied and learned at the Stadio San Paolo and using it to strengthen what is already the best team in Italy. Napoli fans can’t even consider themselves moral victors now.

There are many that will argue that business is business, and at the end of the day, that’s true. Sarri will do what he believes is best for his career and that is something that he does on his own. He will take into consideration his goals as a Coach and how he wants to achieve those, however, that doesn’t make it any easier for Napoli fans to digest.

“If Sarri went to Juve, it would surely be a betrayal for us Neapolitans,” said captain Lorenzo Insigne. “Choosing Juve will hurt, but we must take note that the Coach is a professional and in Naples he gave his all. It is his own decision, but I hope in the end he will change his mind.”

He’s not the first Coach to join bitter rivals and he won’t be the last, but if Napoli do topple the powers, we know who will be first on the guillotine.

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Have your say...
@Maldini's Heir

Asking for location IDs to see who's from Turin?
Questions would have to be asked of you logic seeing as you're on an english language forum. Why would Italian fans seek out a forum in a language other to their mother tongue to voice their views? I'm from Australia but my father is from Turin. Him being a Juve fan, I was also raised as one. Are my views suddenly more valid?
on the 17th June, 2019 at 7:43am
Why Napoli shall never win anything?
Because there is no good player in the world who agrees to pass his image rights to ADL. Full stop.
on the 15th June, 2019 at 7:41am
@Pinturicchio I’m a crackhead for making a perfectly reasonable argument in support of loyalty in football? That’s all you have? Just hurl an insult and be done with it...I’m not going to get down in the gutter with you..

As for the Balo name I agree, I randomly chose it one time and kept it for consistency but I have wanted to change it and I will.

@Primo very interesting point about the history of Italy.
on the 12th June, 2019 at 10:14am
There is no loyalty in football anymore, instead of calling someone as traitor, may as well focus on their own team & win prestigious silverwares.
on the 11th June, 2019 at 10:30pm
@ Ciro Mertens

Yes, you're the only one.
If anything, Sarri would join Juve to rub it in ADL's face.

@ Maldini's nose hair

Please just shut up with the "Juve fans are not from Turin". I swear your broken records are becoming more and more bitter by each passing season I worry about your health.

"Allegri beat Sarri so I don't know why the change"..

Wow, top class argument over here ladies and gentlemen.
What a joke.
on the 11th June, 2019 at 4:48pm
@Primo Calcio

As I said: "on this scale" - which implies all countries have it.

But no country has this level of pettiness/whining/excuses as Italy has.
on the 11th June, 2019 at 4:27pm
i feel for the fans however the club de laurentis has been completely classless in this affair he blame sarri for their failure to win a scudetto when it was more likely his failure to bring in the player sarri needed mid season well that is a insult to anyone who is relatively intelligent.

Still there is no excuse he is Neapolitan he knows how they feel about the north of italy not just about football but the divide between the two, sarri is making a massive mistake by alienating Neapolitan's
on the 11th June, 2019 at 4:15pm
When Conte realizes that Inter is not Juventus and flops just like Marcello Lippi did at Inter it will be Juventini who get the last laugh! @Anonymous: when you say "Look at how clubs treat their heroes. Del Piero-Juve. Totti& De Rossi at Roma" Add Zanetti at Inter who in the last game of his career which meant nothing, Jonathan started in place of Him and inter fans cheered !
on the 11th June, 2019 at 3:29pm
Funny. Appointing Sarri would be a huge mistake! Sarri is not any different than Allegri. The current Juve needs a champion coach! Someone with prestige and has history of accomplishment. Sarri is far from being one. Juve needs Pep!
on the 11th June, 2019 at 8:01am
People justify self serving decisions all the time by calling it "business", "a free market", "the world we live in" etc etc . But the fact is loyalty to a football club and to a city matter to the vast majority of the fans out there. Denying that it does is not only naive but lends truth to what some others are lamenting here,ie football becoming nothing more than a shallow capitalist board game full of expendable pieces.
on the 11th June, 2019 at 7:02am
Crackheads like Balo (it's ironical how the guy who uses Balo as his display name talks of loyalty - Balotelli has changed more clubs than little babies change diapers in 1 month) or "Napoli" have no idea what football is about. A small subset of Juve fans ≠ all Juve fans, you blithering idiot... If you wanna generalize, then all Napoli fans are racist trash and thieves at best. LMAO the shoe's on the other foot now, eh stronzo?

And as for Ron, STFU already, keyboard warrior...
on the 11th June, 2019 at 6:52am
Agreed with Pinturicchio. Besides, if any of the fans gets a job in a rival company with more money and higher rank,they will immediately resign and take the other job to better the lives of their families. You can't preach water and drink wine.
on the 11th June, 2019 at 4:43am
Coaches & players no longer traitors coz
1.Look at how clubs treat their heroes. Del Piero-Juve. Totti& De Rossi at Roma.
2. Look how Milan fans treated Maldini after a full career in Milan given his father was there too as captain.
3. Players and coaches are professionals. They should be allowed to move with dignity. Having said that, the unreasonableness of fans by calling the sarris and Higuains traitors is spices up league rivalries.
on the 11th June, 2019 at 4:37am
Can we add the location to the poster ID's?

It would help identity where the Juve fans live. I'm thinking not many live in Turin....

I was hoping Juve would put a foot wrong with their hire but they've done it again. Having said that Allegri did beat Sarri so I'm not really sure why there was a need for a change. It's the problem with directors of clubs. They bring change for no reason other than to look busy.
on the 11th June, 2019 at 12:22am
Conte going to Inter, as it pains me to say, is the best for Inter. How do you think Conte would have dealt with the toothless Icardi and his idiot wife? He would have been lambasted and sold at the first opportunity. I love Spalletti, but that farce sealed his fate.

I think Napoli fans should be wondering what happened to the 90mil+ that ADL pocketed for Higuain, and be more focused on the their own team rather than worried about anyone else
on the 10th June, 2019 at 6:59pm
Well put Ron. Isn't that what we should really worry about? As a Juve fan, I just see Sarri as a good fit, and THAT is the issue, not all the other non-sense.

Sarri was fired from Napoli, in a most disrespectful way and now he is expected to stay away from their rivals? Ridiculous. He is not choosing one over the other, and most certainly not leaving one for the other.
on the 10th June, 2019 at 6:54pm
Well said. Italian football especially developed as rivalries between historical city states and social classes competing for recognition in a unified Italy which was never really so unified. Even if sometimes its childish and goes too far, it's a huge part of what makes the game so special.

"Only in Italy..."?
Spain and England it's same way. You switch from Barca to Real you get a pig's head and your life threatened. What's the big deal with Napoli fans feeling a bit aggrieved?
on the 10th June, 2019 at 6:11pm
As a Juve fan I hope Sarri comes to his senses and does not betray Napoli, and stay as far away as Juve as possible
on the 10th June, 2019 at 4:39pm
Those whining are morons. People come and go. I love Sarri and blame ADL. But Juve fans should shut up. Aren't they whining about Conte? Double standard against Napoli as usual.
on the 10th June, 2019 at 4:22pm
Betrayal? Ridiculous stuff

Though it will give Napoli yet another excuse to whine about when Juve finish ahead of them again

Only in Italy would you hear this betrayal rubbish on this scale.

Start signing better players, and building a new stadium should be Napoli's objectives. They've needed a proper CB partner for Koulibaly for years, but will blame Juve for that rather than themselves

Time for the rest of Serie A to stop whining and sort their clubs and stadiums out.Sick of their excuses
on the 10th June, 2019 at 4:01pm
People dismissing the claims about loyalty and betrayal are essentially dismissing a core component of what makes football special. Whether you like it or not, football is tribal. If loyalty was of zero relevance then what's left? Football clubs become empty vessels, pure products of capitalism with no meaning attached to them. We celebrate one club men like De Rossi precisely because loyalty, betrayal IS important and meaningful.
on the 10th June, 2019 at 3:44pm
@Italian in Canada What a terrible take. You don't have to win anything to form a bond with a club. And you're forgetting Sarri is Neapolitan. He's one of their own.

Secondly, Conte is no 'leftover'. He went on to have a stunning campaign with Italy and then won the title with Chelsea. No doubt he's a better coach than he was when he left Juve. Inter have signed an elite coach, whose system perfectly compliments the squad. I'll probably be betting on Inter to win the title next season.
on the 10th June, 2019 at 3:38pm
I agree with comments here, I don't see any betrayal either, especially when you consider how ADL replaced Sarri. Though, aren't you whiny, silly and ridiculous Juve fans singed a petition against Conte joining Inter to blah blah from Juve walls, trophy and etc? Now you call Napoli fans whiny, silly?
on the 10th June, 2019 at 3:33pm
Inter hiring Conte is a desperation move for Inter, taking Juve's winning leftovers in the hope they might get nearer their fearful God Juve by using a former insider. Lol. Sarri to Juve isn't the same given Napoli didn't win anything with Sarri--he has no deep ties to the club as Conte does to Juve. So, to recap -- Conte to Inter is a betray of Juve blood ties; Sarri to Juve is nothing but sour Naples whine.
on the 10th June, 2019 at 3:13pm
Am I the only one who believes Sarri is joining Juve as a Napoli Special Agent - To bring down the Juve dynasty from within?
on the 10th June, 2019 at 2:34pm
It's a free market... a free world... who cares.. move on...
on the 10th June, 2019 at 2:31pm
Wah wah wah. Go cry about it, Neapolitans. This is football. Players and coaches alike go where they are wanted and offered a job. He's stepping into a position where he is all but guaranteed instant success, at least domestically. Should he really turn it down out of some supposed sense of loyalty to a club who gave him the sack? Get real.
on the 10th June, 2019 at 2:27pm
Agreed pinturicchio. This is truly the behavior of a small team with small minds, what a bunch of whiny little losers. Its a freaking coach hahahha its not as if he was even a player for them as conte was for juve. The fact that there is an article about this in the first place is just sad for napoli and their fans. Hahahah very sad
on the 10th June, 2019 at 2:26pm
I find this column to be pretty silly. After all, it was ADL who got rid of Sarri, not Sarri who decided to leave Napoli, so all comparisons to Higuaín are not valid.

At the end of the day, Napoli came up short with Sarri, and he said that with the resources available to him he couldn't take the club any further. Today we are hearing Napoli's new coach say that they are ready to strike for the Scudetto.

Napoli and its fans are better off with Ancelotti.
on the 10th June, 2019 at 2:15pm
Pathetic all this traitor rubbish.No reason for any manager or any player not to go to various Serie A clubs.So immature.
on the 10th June, 2019 at 12:57pm

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