Diego Maradona hails winter champs Napoli

Milan: The winter champions' pizzas are on the menu and Naples' favourite son, Diego Maradona, has promised to arrive by helicopter if Napoli fulfil their promise of winning the league title. But for coach Maurizio Sarri, who has steered Napoli to top spot at the halfway point for the first time in 26 years, all talk of a first league crown since Maradona's heyday at the San Paolo is premature.

Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona

"The importance I give to the title of winter champions is the following: nothing. It's a statistic, that's all," Sarri told the media after his side's 5-1 thrashing of Frosinone on Sunday. Combined with the defeats of fellow title-chasers Fiorentina and Inter, who lost 1-3 and 0-1 to Lazio and Sassuolo respectively at the weekend, Napoli's 12th win of the campaign left them top with a two-point lead on Inter and Juventus. But with 19 games remaining and Juventus back in contention thanks to a ninth consecutive league win, away to Sampdoria on Sunday, the season is far from over.

Maradona however, offered glowing praise to Napoli. "It's with great joy that I heard about Napoli's result, which we've all been waiting on for many years," said Maradona in a message sent to Sky Sport Italia. "Knowing that the city of Naples and my Neapolitan fans can enjoy such emotion makes me even more happy for them. Go on Napoli. Now I want us to win the league title," added the Argentine legend.

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