Sabato 23 Gennaio 2021 | 16:19

NEWS DALLA SEZIONE

ROME
Eleven doctors probed over death of Ruby-trial witness (3)

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ROME
COVID-19: 13,633 new cases and 472 deaths in 24 hours

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ROME
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ROME
Alleged white supremacist arrested on terrorism charges

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COVID: 14,078 new cases, 521 new deaths

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ROME
No fear of snap election says Di Maio

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VATICAN CITY
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Il Biancorosso

Serie C
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i più letti

Rome

>>>ANSA/ Soccer: Napoli secure symbolic 'winter champions' crown

Sarri, Higuain have fans dreaming of reliving Maradona years

>>>ANSA/ Soccer: Napoli secure symbolic 'winter champions' crown

(By Paul Virgo). Rome, January 11 - Napoli fans' hopes of celebrating their third Serie A title have been fueling by the southern side winning the symbolic crown of 'winter champions' for the first time since the glory years of Diego Maradona. Maurizio Sarri's men claimed the title - for the team that's top of the league at the season's halfway mark - by thrashing promoted Frosinone 5-1 on Sunday, with the league's top scorer Gonzalo Higuain chipping in with a double. Napoli are two points ahead of Juventus, who continued their recovery from a poor start by beating Sampdoria 2-1 for their ninth straight win in their quest for their fifth straight title, and of Inter Milan. Inter slipped from top spot by losing 1-0 at home to Sassuolo, while Fiorentina are fourth, a point behind Juve and Inter, after a 3-1 home defeat to Lazio. Maradona, who led Napoli to two Serie A titles and a UEFA Cup during his 1984-1991 stint at the southern Italian club, is leading the euphoria. "I want the scudetto," he told Argentine portal Canchallena from Dubai. "If Napoli are about to win the title, I'll go to the city by helicopter, ready to celebrate as a fan". Maradona was among the critics after Napoli made a stuttering start to the season under Sarri, who was hired in the closed season after impressing at minnows Empoli. But the straight-talking coach has won over the doubters thanks to Napoli's eye-catching attacking play and his ability to get the best out of Argentina forward Higuain. The 28-year-old has already notched 18 league goals from 19 games this term, the same as his tally for the whole of last season. Napoli have had a squad considered by many to be capable of challenging for the title for several seasons but, under Walter Mazzarri first and Rafa Benitez after, have been unable to come close, in part due to Juventus's four-year dominance. But the scudetto race looks more open this term as Juventus made a poor start and two other big teams, AS Roma and AC Milan, are suffering crises of confidence. Sarri recently said that he considers talk of his side winning the title as blasphemy, while adding that Tuscans like himself were sometimes guilty of cursing. But he also stressed that he gave "no importance" to the winter champions title. "Imagine that we are a marathon runner and we've reached the middle of the race, so we've still got 21 kilometres to go," Sarri said.

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