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2009 Serie A Season Review: Napoli

Team Overview: Napoli managed to stay afloat in Serie A for the 2nd straight year, though they did not improve on last year’s 8th place finish. Though they are two-time winners of the Serie A scudetto and three time winner of , they have had no major success since Argentine playmaker Diego Maradona left the club.

Top Performers: Marek Hamsik is no Maradona, but he did lead the club offensively with 9 goals, and he added 6 assists. Ezequiel Lavezzi was the “straw that stirred the drink” though with 7 goals and 8 assists. Finally, Luca Castellazzi was simply impenetrable in goal, ceding a mere 1.11 goals per game and keeping the Azzuri alive.

Highest Highs: It was a strong September and October that kept the team in Serie A, as they picked up 20 points over that two month period and notched six wins, one draw and only a single loss. also won three straight matches during that span over , Reggina and , so they proved they are an able Serie A competitor.

Lowest Lows: Napoli struggled in February and March, only picking up three points and notching a mere three goals over the two month span. The draught was part of a hideous streak of fourteen games dating from January until April. Fotrunately, the terrible turn of events ended with an uplifting win over Juventus.

Future Outlook: The season ended on a sour note as Lavezzi, the “straw” that stirred the aforementioned drink, is apparently leaving for brighter pastures, liks Man U or perhaps . Such is the nature of pro soccer at the top level. But, if he does leave, Napoli will need another young striker, or they will be hurting come 2010.