The Professor’s Coffee. Rangers-Napoli, a historic away match

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

The morning coffee is the instant coffee on board the flight from Edinburgh to Zara, nothing to do with a good Neapolitan coffee. But it’s especially sweet after the magical night at Ibrox and the sumptuous Napoli, who we’ve admired in a few sparse fans, lead Champions League Group A by a full point ahead of Liverpool and Ajax, no less. A wonderful sunrise at the embarkation in Ingliston of a historic four-day Scottish trip characterized by unexpectedly beautiful weather and really intense emotions: minute of meditation, the choreography dedicated to the Queen of the Rangers curve and the God Save anthem sung by the Queen in perfect continuity throughout the stadium with the popular participation of the previous days. No Champions music, as announced.

However, the atmosphere of the city in Glasgow is different from the calm atmosphere of austere Edinburgh. “Christmas Eve Dinner” in the packed Miller & Carter steakhouse located in the beautiful post-Victorian building of the old Post Office tells of a modern, vibrant city, full of young people for a population one and a half times the size of the Scottish capital. Yesterday morning we went to visit Celtic Park, a beautiful structure of the intense green of the Gaelic clover that has always inspired young people in search of tradition. There we had a nice meeting with two Englishmen of Indian origin from Birmingham, who asked me to take a photo with the inevitable Napoli scarf that I always wear around my neck during every moment of my absence: in some cold b&b I also wear the night a few times 😉 Napoli fans, the poor people were left without a ticket after buying the entrance tickets to the guest sector directly from the club. I suggested they follow our method, buy online from various brokers or try to look for them outside the stadium: as Englishmen, they would surely have had less difficulty than us. I had actually learned that tickets for the away sector were then being sold for £65 for local fans – in fact the sector was full – so maybe someone would try to sell them at a profit. Just this morning at the airport I learned that some Neapolitan fans had bought them on the spot and paid them 120 euros an hour before the match: half compared to ours!

No problem walking around Ibrox with the Napoli scarf, visiting the Rangers shop and having a nice chat with the fans. I had read about their solidarity with our absent supporters and I sportingly wished them that the principle of reciprocity followed by UEFA can be waived so that they can visit our beloved city. Someone told me that he had already bought flights and services, attracted by the beauty and traditions of our places and, last but not least, by the experience of visiting the legendary Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. It is my belief that the municipality and the SSCN should sit around a table to find the key to the improvement of our “temple”: I would at least think of a museum and a large store, as well as the general improvement of services.

We sat in the stands with other Neapolitan fans, surrounded by stewards and police who separated us from local fans. Some of them, in the episode of the first punishment of the double execution, got too hot, probably because of the accumulated alcohol, and threw a glass of liquid and ice cubes at us. Some of these have impressed us. Fortunately, the stewards acted as witnesses when some security officials, smeared by wild fans, tried to blame us for the verbal and gestural skirmishes between the two groups. All this also came back due to the obvious technical and tactical superiority – not only numerical after the sending off in connection with the first penalty – of a Napoli as the field perfected by Spalletti, even in the management of changes. My report card grades are ideally all above eight, from an increasingly confident Meret ―the parry with the recall hand on the treacherous shot from outside the area towards the corner of the posts was remarkable ― to the young Zerbin who played the final quarter of an hour with the authority of a seasoned player. Above all, a fantastic Politano in the two phases and an Anguissa who gives solidity to one of the strongest midfields in Europe at the moment. This year’s bench is definitely stronger than previous years and it is no coincidence that the second and third goals came from two substitutes: the tender Jack and the tough Tanguy 🙂

Three goals planned before the match and the promise was kept as you can see in the pictures. The evening ended in the historic Irish pub The Brazen Head. The Celtic fans who had been following their team on TV got involved in prime time away to Shakhtar – draw and no win after dominating the game – and then welcomed the hated cousins ​​of Rangers as we paved our way with chants and hugs to our scarfed entrance . The creamy Guinness flowed in pint after pint and the pearl was the replica of the Big Ears Cup with the bands celebrating their last win against Inter Milan in Lisbon in May 1967. It was nice to hug it and dream. with open eyes…

Long layover in Zadar and then fly to Bari first in the afternoon where we find my car to return to Naples in the evening. A Friday full of collective commitments and on Saturday we go to Milan. Hearing from the San Siro after the top-flight clash with the Rossoneri… #FNSCD

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