Napoli have won the Scudetto for the first time in 33 years and while it was Diego Armando Maradona who captained the Partenopei to the crown in 1990, it is Giovanni di Lorenzo who has done it in 2023.
Six years ago, a feat like this would’ve seemed highly unlikely for the Italian right-back. He wouldn’t have imagined it in his wildest dreams. In the 2016/17 season, he was plying his trade with southern provincial club Matera in Serie C before he earned a move to Empoli, who were then looking to earn promotion to the Serie A from the second division. He had never played in the top-flight before and throughout his career, he had constantly gone from Serie B to Serie C and vice-versa.
Empoli have established a brandname for themselves, when it comes to developing younger players and selling them on and that is what they did with Di Lorenzo. In his first Serie A season with the Azzurri, Di Lorenzo impressed by scoring five times and assisting thrice and thereby, earnign a move to Napoli. Since then, his consistency, reliability and versatility on the pitch has made him one of Napoli’s most important players and following the exits of more experienced veterans such as Kalidou Koulibaly, Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne, Di Lorenzo was handed the captain’s armband.
His rise and success is only one of the many feel-good stories around Napoli’s Scudetto success and his tale is fairly definitive of all of them.
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN