Napoli Football Club: The Complete Guide

S.S.C. (Società Sportiva Calcio) Napoli is an Italian soccer club based in Naples in the south of Italy. The club currently plays in Serie A and over the last 15 years and has seen a rise in success after the dark period experienced after Diego Maradona departed the club. 

S.S.C. Napoli has a rich history and a dedicated fanbase, so if you’re interested to find out more about the club then keep on reading. 

Basic Facts

  • Location of Napoli: Naples, Campania
  • Founded: August 1st, 1926
  • Nickname: Gli Azzurri (The Blues) or I Partenopei (The Parthenopeans)
  • Ground: Stadio Diego Armando Maradona 
  • Ground Capacity: 54,726
  • Club Colors: Azure blue and white
  • Owner: Aurelio de Laurentiis
  • League: Serie A
  • Current Manager: Luciano Spalletti
  • Current Club Captain: Lorenze Insigne

Home Grounds

Napoli’s home ground is the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona (formerly Stadio San Paolo) and has been since 1959, however, the club has also had two previous home grounds, the Stadio Giorgio Ascarelli between 1926 and 1932 and then moving on to the Stadio Arturo Collana between 1933 and 1958.

Main Trophies

  • The club was named Serie A champions (or Italian Champions) in 1987 and 1990. 
  • Napoli was also named winner of Serie B in 1950 and also won the Serie C-1 (South) league in the 2005-06 season.
  • Napoli won the UEFA Cup (now known as the Europa League) in the 1988/1989 season after beating German side Stuttgart 5-4 on aggregate, with Diego Maradona scoring in the historic 2-leg final. 
  • Napoli is a 6-times Coppa Italia winner, winning the annual soccer tournament in the seasons 1961-62, 1975-76, 1986-87, 2011-12, 2013-14, and most recently in 2019-20.
  • They also won the Suppacoppa Italiana (the annual soccer match played between the winners of Serie A and the Coppa Italia) in 1990 and most recently in 2014 when they defeated Juventus. 

Club History

In 1922, two Naples clubs, US Internazionale Napoli and Naples FBC merged for financial reasons to become FBC Internaples. 

The club was given a new name in 1926 – Associazione Calcio Napoli and the following season Napoli finished last in the championship-leading them to develop the nickname ‘ I ciucciarelli’ which means little donkeys.

The Stadio San Paolo (now the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona) was built in 1959 and became the third-largest football stadium in the whole of Italy and was able to accommodate over 100,000 Neopolitan spectators. 

In 1961, Napoli went on to win their first Coppa Italia despite being in Serie B and in 1964, the club saw a consecutive name change where they are known as what they are today – Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli.

They were promoted to Serie A where they enjoyed years of moderate success at the club.

The club’s most famous player is Diego Maradona, who joined in 1984 and enjoyed great success at the club, helping them win a UEFA Cup, Serie A titles, and also a Coppa Italia. He left the club in 1992 much to the Napoli fan’s dismay and the club would see relegation to the lower Italian leagues and economic struggle for the next 10 years. 

The club went bankrupt in 2004 and its future was looking uncertain. Then the current owner de Laurentiis paid all of the debts to establish the club under the new name Napoli. After relegation misery, the club soon found their way back to Serie A where they now battle to win the title again.

The club has seen recent glory when they won the 2014 and 2020 Coppa Italia.

Club Timeline

  • 1904 – Naples Football Club (previous name for S.S.C. Napoli) established
  • 1922 – The club merges with another Italian club to create FBC Internazionale-Naples 
  • 1926 – The name Associazione Calcio Napoli is established
  • 1962 – Napoli win their first Coppa Italia 
  • 1964 – The club changes its name to Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli (S.S.C.. Napoli)
  • 1984 – Diego Maradona signs for €12 million from Barcelona and breaks the world record transfer fee
  • 1987 – Napoli win their first scudetto by winning Serie A and Coppa Italia
  • 1989 – They win their first UEFA CUP (Europa League)
  • 2004 – The club is named bankrupt and re-establishes itself under the new name
  • 2008 – Co-winners of the Intertoto Cup
  • 2020 – They win the 73rd Coppa Italia 

Club Net Worth

Back in 2018, Forbes estimated Napoli’s net worth to be around $379 million and stood as the 5th richest club in Italy. However, as of 2020 Napoli is speculated to be worth over $500 million.

President of Napoli, Aurelio de Laurentiis is said to have a net worth of $600 million and has spent millions of euros on the club’s rebranding, rejuvenation of the squad, and improvement of the stadium.


Napoli’s stadium is called the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona to commemorate Diego Maradona, a former Napoli star and also one of the greatest soccer players of all time. The stadium was formally called Stadio San Paolo before it was renamed in 2020. 

This is not the first stadium to be named after the legend himself Maradona. There is also a stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina belonging to the team Argentinos Juniors called the Estadio Diego Armando Maradona as he made his professional debut in soccer at the club in 1976. 

Napoli’s stadium has a capacity of 54,726 and has undergone many renovations over the years to modernize the stadium that was built in 1959 to expand the facilities and also increase the capacity to accommodate the club’s growing popularity. 

The highest capacity of the stadium at one point was 72,810 seats after the Italian Football World Cup in 1990, which was then reduced to 60,240 and then between the years 2018-2019 in anticipation of the Universiade (an international multi-sports event for university athletes) the capacity was decreased to what it currently stands at now, 54,726 to accommodate space for the new athletics track. 

Since the stadium was built, it has been a venue for the XVII Olympiad (1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome) Football Tournament, as well as a host venue for Italia’ 68 and Italia’ 80

The stadium is not only home to S.S.C. Napoli but is also an Italian multipurpose sports facility to accommodate athletics, boxing, motor racing and has also hosted an abundance of famous concerts and also a pastoral visit from Pope John Paul II. 

The Stadio Diego Armando Maradona has faced huge criticism over the years for the poor view from the stands, especially those from the lower ring from Napoli supporters and traveling away fans. 


The current owner of Napoli is Aurelio de Laurentiis, a famous Italian film producer who also is the president of another Italian soccer team called S.S.C. Bari, located in the Puglia region in Southwestern Italy. 

Aurelio de Laurentiis has been president of Napoli since 2004 when he bought the club after they went bankrupt and were relegated to the third division of Italian soccer with the ambition to secure financial stability whilst helping the club gain relegation to the first division again. 

de Laurentiis has received huge praise from fans and professionals in football for how well he has run the club through gaining promotions back to Serie A and also being one of the only clubs in the league to turn over a profit every year.

The first official president/owner of Napoli was Giorgio Ascarelli who took over in 1926 and then passed it on to his successor Gustavo Zinzaro in 1927.  Ascarelli was also the deputy mayor of Naples for the Mercato area and was a clever businessman who was also passionate about soccer.

Naples’ previous stadium Stadio Partenopeo was also known as the Stadio Giorgio Ascarelli. However, due to the fascist regime, the stadium was renamed Stadio Partenopeo due to Giorgio’s Jewish origins as many people found it inappropriate for such a  renowned sports facility to be named after a Jew. 

Best Players

Diego Maradona

There have been many great players to grace the team of Napoli, including one of the greatest of all-time players Diego Maradona. He signed for Napoli, after a world record fee of over $10 million in 1984 from Barcelona. Maradona scored 115 goals for Napoli during his 7-year career there and made 259 appearances. 

He was a huge hit with everyone who surrounded the club, despite some of the scandals off the field that haunted him. Coined for his incredible dribbling skills, impeccable vision on the pitch, and love for the beautiful game many Italians and others across the world will always regard him as one of the GOATs (Greatest Of All Time). 

In 2010, the no.10 shirt that Maradona wore was officially retired and then in 2020, after news of his death, the club renamed their stadium the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in his honor. 

Marek Hamšík

Another club legend is Marek Hamšík, who spent 12 years at Napoli and also captained the club. He made 520 appearances and scored 121 goals during his time at the southern Italian club and turned down offers from many European clubs during his career at Napoli to pledge his loyalty to them.

After a successful 12 years with Napoli, he made a big career move (earning him 9 million euros a year) to the Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang. 

Notable Mentions

  • Giuseppe Bruscolotti (1972-1998)
  • Circo Ferrara ( 1984-1994)
  • Edison Cavani (2010-2013)
  • Antonio Juliano (1962-1978)
  • Attila Sallustro (1926-1937)

All-Time Top Scorer

The all-time top goalscorer at Napoli is Dries Mertens, a Belgian forward who has scored 135 goals in 360 appearances since joining in 2013.

In second place is former club Captain Marek Hamšík who scored 121 goals in 520 appearances during his 12-year stay at Napoli.

From 1991 to 2017, Diego Maradona was the all-time top scorer (115 goals) at Napoli, until Marek Hamšík broke the record in 2017 with his 121 goals. 

Current club captain Lorenzo Insigne is the 4th highest goal scorer for Napoli having scored 109 goals in 397 appearances.


The current captain of S.S.C. Napoli is Lorenzo Insigne which he has been for 2 seasons since taking over from former club captain Marek Hamsik. Lorenzo Insigne also captained the Italian National soccer side once back in 2018. He was born in Naples and also began his professional playing career with Napoli in 2009 before moving away for 3 years and then returning to Napoli in 2012 where he has remained. 

Soccer legend Diego Maradona also captained Napoli for 5 seasons during his 7-year spell at the club.

The player who has spent the most seasons as club captain is Antonio Juliano, a midfielder who was captain for 12 seasons whilst making 505 appearances (the 3rd highest of the club) and scoring 38 goals for the club. 


Napoli has been lucky enough to have some top-quality goalkeepers over the years including the likes of ex Barcelona and Liverpool goalie Pepe Reina who also made 111 appearances for the Neapolitan side. 

Other Noteworthy Napoli Goalkeepers:

  • Alex Meret (2018-current player)
  • Gennaro Iezzo (2005-2011)
  • David Ospina (2018- current player)
  • Giuliano Giuliani (1988-1990)
  • Ottavio Bugatti 1953-1961)
  • Luciano Castellini (1978-1985)


One of the most famous and popular defenders with Napoli fans was Giuseppe Bruscolotti an Italian right-back who spent 16 years at the club, making 520 appearances, scoring 121 goals, and also captaining his side through the successful period of the late 80s.

Other Noteworthy Napoli Defenders:

  • Moreno Ferrario (1977-1988)
  • Ciro Ferrara (1984-1994)
  • Christian Maggio (2008-2018)
  • Kalidou Koulibaly (2014-present)
  • Paolo Cannavaro (1998-99 and 2006-2013)
  • Giovanni Francini (1987-1994)
  • Alessandro Renica (1985-1991)


Three of the most popular and famous strikers who have worn a Napoli shirt are Diego Maradona, Dries Mertens, and Lorenzo Insigne who combined between them have scored over 300 goals for the club.

Other Noteworthy Napoli Strikers:

  • Attila Sallustro (1926-37)
  • Edinson Cavani (2010-2013)
  • José Altafini (1965-1972)
  • Careca (1987-1993)
  • Gonzalo Higuaín (2013-2016)
  • Cané (1962-69 and 1972-75)
  • Antonio Vojak (1929-1935)


The first official manager of Napoli was Antonio Kreutzer, an Austrian who managed the Neapolitan side between 1926 and 1927.

The longest-serving manager of Napoli is Bruno Pesaola who managed 265 matches for the club between 1962-1963, 1964-1968, and 176-1977.

Many would consider Ottavia Bianchi as one of Napoli’s most successful managers as it was under his management that the club won their only UEFA Cup back in 1989 as well as 2 Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990 and the Coppa Italia in 1987.

The current manager of Napoli is Luciano Spalletti who joined the club in the spring of 2021.


Napoli isn’t just managed by their manager, they also have an array of other coaches to help them in the training and fixtures.

  • Assistant Manager: Marco Domenichini
  • Goalkeeping Coach: Alejandro Rosalen
  • Technical Coach: Daniele Baldini & Francesco Calzona
  • Chief Analyst: Simone Beccaccioli
  • Athletic Coach: Francesco Sinatti

Assistant Coach

The assistant manager is Marcho Domenichini who aids the head coach/manager Luciano Spapellti with management duties for the team.

Home Kit

The traditional home kit colors feature the typical Napoli colors – Azure and Blue Intense with white highlights for other logos and graphics. The Napoli logo/badge is worn on the left side of the shirt. 

Patterns designs of the shirt change from season to season depending on the shirt sponsor, however, Napoli does like to preserve a clean and traditional-looking home shirt that can always be recognized as Napoli.

Napoli traditionally wears white shorts with sky blue detailing for their home kit and socks that match the colors on the shirt and shorts. 

Away Kit

The away kit for Napoli changes each season depending on who their kit sponsor is. Their most recent away kit colors feature the same colors as their home ones but the main color is now a secondary color with the secondary color the main color. 

They also have a third shirt, which they will wear if they are playing an opposition that has similar colors to their kit. The design and colors of the third kit vary wildly every season depending on the choice of the club and sponsor.

The Napoli logo is a round-shaped logo with two shades of Napoli blue. Positioned in the center of the circles is the letter ‘N’ which stands for Napoli. The club has seen many reformations of the logo over the years, which are all fairly similar to the current one, however in the 1926-1927 season, the club had a blue oval logo with a white donkey in the center. 

Club Academy 

Napoli’s club academy is called Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli Primavera or Napoli Primavera for short. The youth academy is divided into 6 squads, ‘Primavera’, ‘Beretti’, Allievi Nazionali’, ‘Giovanissimi’, ‘Esordienti’ and ‘Pulcini’.

The academy is made of soccer players aged between 15 to 20, which is a lot older than most leading soccer academies who begin scouting potential players from as early as 6 years old for developmental groups and schools then officially and legally join an academy at 9 years old. 

Napoli is a one club-city, unlike some of their Italian counterparts like Milan and Rome, and could have the best pick from all the players native to Naples, however, due to their lack of academy they are unable to do so. 

Most players born in the surrounding areas of Naples, go to the academies up in the north of Italy, and therefore Napoli loses out on homegrown talent and ends up spending the extra money to buy from other club’s academies. 

This is not to say that Napoli hasn’t produced some quality players through their academy, however, if they were to put more money into their academy, they’d be able to nurture local players as they progress through the academy instead of spending millions on international players in the transfer market. 

Notable Napoli Academy Players

  • Ciro Ferrera (1980-1987)
  • Paolo Cannavaro (1995-1999)
  • Fabio Cannavaro (1988-1995)
  • Antonio Juliano (1956-1978)
  • Lorenzo Insigne (2006 – current player) 

League Titles

Napoli has won Serie A 2 times, once in the 1986-87 season and the second and most recent time in the 1989-90 season. Napoli has come runner’s up for Serie A in the 17/18 and 18/19 season but are yet to be champions of the Serie A league once again. 

In 1950 they were crowned champions of the Serie B league and after the deterioration of the club in the early 2000s which found them in the penultimate league in Italy, they were crowned champions of Serie C1 which triggered the beginning of their rise to success again.

Other Titles

Napoli won the Anglo-Italian League Cup in 1976 when they beat English side Southampton 4-1 on aggregate. 

They also won the Coppa delle Alpi in 1966 when they topped the 8-team group that was made up of both Italian and Swiss soccer clubs.

Fun Facts

  • The signing of Diego Maradona in 1984 was Napoli’s record transfer fee paid for a player (€10.4 million)  for nearly 25 years until they broke it by signing center-forward Fabio Quagliarella for €18 million in 2009
  • Napoli’s mascot is a donkey called ‘O Ciucci’ dressed up in a Napoli shirt 
  • Napoli has a huge rivalry with fellow northern Italian side A.S. Roma
  • Diego Maradona held Napoli’s all-time top goal-scoring record for 25 years with 115 goals before the record was broken by Marek Hamšík in 2017 with 121 goals