A coffee with the professor: twenty minutes of a dream

The Professor’s Coffee – by Bruno Siciliano, Professor of Robotics at Federico II

Part of this new column that will tell the feelings of my travels after our beloved Naples. The title is inspired by the beautiful book “The rest of the week” by a great friend and big fan like me, Maurizio de Giovanni. I have always lived the ritual of commentating on the Napoli game in the bar where I usually stop on Monday mornings before going to the department, usually to take classes at 8:30 from September to December and then from March to June. I’m not telling you how much coffee can go wrong on the rare occasion of a defeat or a disappointing performance, and how the effectiveness of teaching can be affected! But anyway, like many fans who frequent the bars of our city, I am absolutely Napolipatico.

The two annual trips to the Olimpico are a must for me. This time I gave up two free admissions to the stands, which I had asked for after the ban on Campania residents was originally proposed. Instead, the hospitality industry in the company of my son Fabrizio e three his friends. The pleasure of a father & son soccer trip (& friends) far surpasses a business trip to the most important robotics conferences, although it often manages to combine duty and pleasure. The two previous trips to Verona and Florence were punctually linked to work commitments. Notoriously, my work schedule is set around the “commitments” of soccer. In March 2012, in the middle of a week of work for European research projects, I returned from Munich on a Wednesday afternoon for the return semi-final of the Italian Cup (Naples-Siena) to return there on Thursday morning in time for my meetings.

Compared to Florence, where we were stacked like sardines all standing in the single upper segment of the away sector, last night at the Olimpico we were comfortable. We sang non-stop from the first minute to the last. After the confusion of the goal left in the cold, we gained confidence as we saw a Lazio firmly on the legs and a more and more toned Napoli.

The highlight of the match was the dreamlike first twenty minutes of the second half, an overstuffed Napoli: five crystal clear goalscoring chances in the first six minutes and the feeling that our boys would have made the game their own. After Provedel’s save on Osi, I declared in the corner that we would score. On the continuation of the action, Matteo’s cut for Zambo and the passage back in tow for Kvara who blew up the net. A true liberation after absolute domination! The end result of 62% possession at home to Sarri is a lot of stuff!

The final apotheosis with the players led by a Politano unleashed beneath us to jump and cheer at the top of his lungs. Viktor’s T-shirts, shorts and even shoes!

The evening ended nicely in a restaurant covo di Lazio, luckily it was open at midnight. Matriciana, gricia, cheese and pepper to seal a great trip. Sportingly, they acknowledged Napoli’s superiority and were mesmerized by Kvara’s rouleta with a dry shot on the post, as well as the physicality of Kim and Zambo! We promised them that we will come back on October 23 after Rome-Naples: we will win and they will offer us a drink!

Overall, this start to the season is good for Napolifinally with the market closed and what a market! The team I have seen does not appear to be less strong than the others, quite the opposite! Which on paper was not so obvious, at least to judge the different boxes and bands in more or less favored teams. Probably a less technical Napoli in its soloists but certainly more physicist, vertical and quick to suggest team driving games, At least I had predicted that 14 points in the first six days. Under Spezia to wash away the shame of the two outrageous home defeats against them. But first Klopp’s Reds on Maradona. For me, as a child I sympathized with Kevin Keagan’s Liverpool is a special game. Everything is from Olimpico. Teasing the legendary Ibrox in Glasgow ahead of the next trip to the home of Rangers… #FNSCD

Curated by Bruno Siciliano

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