What comes to your mind first when you think of Naples, a city in southern Italy?

For starters, you can’t leave out the spaghetti and pizza. Naples is said to be the birthplace of these two foods representing Italy. Vongole and aglio e olio are spaghetti originating from Naples, and Margherita pizza is a symbol of Naples.

Naples is also considered oneㅋㅋㅋ벳 of the world’s three most beautiful ports, along with Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Sydney in Australia. Some objected, saying that it was overflowing with garbage. It’s interesting that Kim Min-jae, who moved to Naples this season and rose to become one of the best defenders in Europe, is from Tongyeong, which is called ‘Korea’s Napoli’. Naples is also home to the Camorra, one of Italy’s three major mafia factions.

And there’s football.

Italian cities usually have two rival soccer teams. Milan has AC Milan and Internazionale Milan, and Roma has AS Roma and Lazio. Turin also has Juventus and Torino FC.

However, in Naples, which is called the third city after Rome and Milan, only one team, SSC Napoli, is monopolizing the love of citizens.

Near Naples is the Vesuvius volcano, which erupted over 2000 years ago. Naples fans sing a cheering song with passionate lyrics, “We are the sons of Vesuvius~ Even if it explodes someday, this life will be with you~”.

Writer Angelo Pogione said, “SSC Napoli is a single club representing one city, which is rare among soccer teams in large European cities.” Football establishes that identity for us.”

Italy was divided into a number of smaller states until it was unified in the 19th century. That’s why the local color is still strong.

In such a situation, SSC Napoli, a soccer club representing the south, was a source of pride for Naples citizens to compete with the relatively wealthy northern region. “Football is everything in Naples,” said Napoli fan Paolo Cimino in an interview with the BBC.

Napoli has virtually confirmed the Serie A championship this season, the regular Italian professional football league. Even a draw in the Udinese expedition held at 3:45 am on the 5th is enough to reach the top.

If they had won against Salernitana on the 30th of last month, they could have fired the winning salute at home, but conceded a last-minute equalizer. Still, the fans can’t hide their excitement, saying, “I’ve been waiting for 33 years, but I can’t wait a few more days.” Napoli’s last Serie A title year was 1990, when Diego Maradona (1960-2020) was active.Sky-blue placards and flags celebrating the victory are already flying all over the city of Naples. Citizens are scrambling to paint murals related to Naples. The place where Naples players, including Kim Min-jae, were made life-size this season has become a ‘certified shot’ spot.

Some rabid fans are planning to climb into the crater of Mount Vesuvius and set off tri-color flares if Napoli win.

Surprised by this news, Vesuvius National Park issued a statement and warned, “It is extremely dangerous to go close to the volcano, and if you have any such plans, give up immediately.” Vesuvius Volcano was severely damaged by a large-scale forest fire in 2017, and the ground is said to be in an extremely unstable state. There is a sad history that the thriving city of Pompeii disappeared in an instant due to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

Napoli fans also prepared an unusual funeral. A cross with the logos of 19 Serie A teams excluding Napoli was placed around the coffins of major Serie A clubs such as Juventus. This so-called Serie A graveyard is a rather comical ritual meaning that every team except Napoli is dead.

There is also a video that shows the local atmosphere of Naples. This is the visit of referee Jeong Dong-sik to Naples, released by the popular soccer YouTube channel ‘Shoot for Love’. Referee Jeong Dong-sik, who has blown the whistle in the K-League since 2013, is famous for his appearance resembling Kim Min-jae. Referee Jeong Dong-sik was born in 1980 and is 16 years older than Min-jae Kim, so it seems reasonable to say that Min-jae Kim resembles referee Dong-sik Jeong.

n the video, as soon as referee Jeong Dong-sik arrives at the Naples airport, citizens are pouring in requests for autographs and filming. Most fans mistakenly referee Jeong Dong-shik for Kim Min-jae. Judge Jeong Dong-sik immediately corrected him by saying that he was not Kim Min-jae, but they still had fun and took pictures together.

When he went out to downtown Naples the next day, there was a real uproar. Everyone from young children to the elderly lined up to get his autograph and take pictures with him. It was almost like a fan meeting scene.

As too many people gathered, referee Jeong Dong-sik repeatedly stated that he was not Kim Min-jae, but Napoli fans did not mind and sang and took pictures together with their arms around their shoulders. In the end, with the help of a local, he put a pizza box and said, ‘It’s not Kim Min-jae. I was the person I look like’ written on it and carried it with me. Citizens laughed at that appearance, but shouted, “Kim! Kim!” they chanted.

Kim Dong-joon, CEO of Shoot for Love, said, “I thought about what it would be like if referee Jeong Dong-sik, who resembles Kim Min-jae, visited Naples, but this time I put it into action.”

If Napoli secures a win away from Udinese on the 5th, it seems that many Napoli fans will welcome them back the next day. There will be another big festival in downtown Naples. We can’t wait to see how many citizens will flock to the bus parade, which is the privilege of the winning team. Even Maradona in the sky would be delighted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *