NAPOLI

Having dropped out of the top flight in 1998, Napoli returned to Serie A after gaining promotion in the 1999–2000 season, though after a closely contested relegation battle, they were relegated immediately back down the following season.

This time it proved to be financially disastrous and the club could not recover, being declared bankrupt in 2004. They were eventually reinstated but had to give up there title Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli and became Napoli Soccer.

Napoli will always be tied with the confectionary company Mars – primarily because the shirt sponsorship deal coincided with one of the clubs Scudetto winning seasons and the prominance of the best player to ever appear for the club, Diego Maradona.

In 1989 Napoli managed to win an international trophy for the first time, defeating Stuttgart 2-1 and drawing 3-3 in the two-legged Uefa Cup final. Napoli could not keep pace with Inter in Serie A, but recorded a second place, its fourth consecutive podium finish in the final standings.

As one of the Ajax super team of the early Seventies that won three successive European crowns, Ruud Krol stayed on as captain of his hometown club until 1980 while the other legends left for pastures new.
A move to Serie A with Napoli followed a brief spell in Canada with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Krol mainly played as a sweeper or left-back, however he could play anywhere across the back four or as a defensive midfielder.
One of the most elegant and intelligent defenders of all time, his reading of the game marked him in the same bracket as Baresi and Beckenbauer. 

Napoli broke the world transfer record, turning to Diego Maradona with a €12 million deal from Barcelona in June 1984. The squad was gradually re-built and by 1986, they had a third place finish under their belts, but better was yet to come.

Maradona was a symbol of not just the football team but of Naples as a whole during his time there - the Neapolitans treated him like a son and his was a character that fit perfectly into the mentality of the port city he had become a resident of, a city similar to his own Buenos Aires.

He finally put Napoli on the football map as the mercurial Argentine produced football the world had never seen before.
The 1986–87 season was the landmark in Napoli's history; they won the double, securing their first Serie A title by three points and then beating Atalanta 4–0 to lift the Coppa Italia.

Maradona’s legend is enhanced by the popular refrain that he won either the Serie A or the World Cup by himself, but this is not fair to his teammates of either team. However, Diego was the star, the captain, the main goal-scorer and creator, and chief motivator for club and country. The supporting cast at Napoli was good enough to create the nickname 'MaGiCa' – composed of Diego himself, Bruno Giordano and Brazilian striker Antonio Careca.
Although it is the legend of 'El Pibe de Oro' that will surely endure the test of time.

In 1989, he signed for Napoli in Serie A. The young and talented Zola scored two goals as understudy to Diego Maradona as Napoli won the Serie A title in 1990. Maradona would prove to be a big influence on Zola's career. 

The two would spend hours practising free kicks together after training and Zola later said that "I learned everything from Diego. I used to spy on him every time he trained and learned how to curl a free-kick just like him."
In 1993, Zola left Napoli and joined fellow Serie A side Parma. He would go on to be a phenomenal player, later being voted Chelsea's greatest player ever by fans in 2003.

One of the nicknames of Napoli is I ciucciarelli which means "the little donkeys" in the local dialect, they were given this name after a particularly poor performance during the 1926–27 season. It was originally meant to be derogatory, as the Neapolitan symbol is a rampant black horse, the club however adopted the donkey as a mascot called 'O Ciuccio, displaying it with pride.

A true Italian classic, iconic in every sense of the word.
Celebrating the golden period in Neopolitan football history, this is the shirt worn by the mercurial Argentine genius who almost single handedly bought the domestic double to the Stadio San Paolo in 1987, with the Uefa Cup following the next year.

Napoli added their second Serie A title in 1990, pipping Milan by two points.  Adored by fans, the number 10 shirt was retired on his departure in 1992.

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