Napoli: Greatest XI of all time

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Napoli are in one of their most successful spells to date. Having been a yo-yo club, constantly up and down in the leagues, during the early 2000's, they were declared bankrupt in 2004.

However, under new coach Aurelio De Laurentis, they were promoted again in 2007. They are now one of the finest sides in Serie A.

But their true golden era came in the 80's. In 1989 they won the UEFA Cup, being Stuttgart in the final. Led by arguably football's greatest player, Diego Armando Maradona, they won two Scudetti, 1987 and 1990, and even thrashed Roberto Baggio's Juventus 5-1 in the 1991 Coppa Italia Final.

Honourable mentions for this 11 go to Massimo Crippa, Christian Maggio, Gökhan Inler, Bruno Gramaglia, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Attilla Sallustro and Antonio Vojak.

Manager: Ottavio Bianchi

The Italian spent just three seasons at the Neapolitan club, but was undoubtedly on the major forces in making them a large club. That and Diego Maradona.

Formation: 4-2-2

Goalkeeper: Dino Zoff

Although better known for his performances for the Azzurri, Zoff was wonderful in five years at Napoli, before reaching his peak at arch-rivals Juventus, with whom he spent 11 years.

Left Back: Moreno Ferrario

The Italian spent 11 years with Partenopei, where he played mostly as a sweeper. However, his playing style was well suited to the full-back position, and I'm confident he fare well there.

Centre Back: Ciro Ferrara

One of the club's all time greats, the tough Italian centre back was born and bred in Naples, and was sensational in a ten-year spell. He even scored in the UEFA Cup Final victory over Stuttgart. He's still revered by Napolisti, despite moving to rivals Juventus when he was 27.

Centre Back: Paolo Cannavaro

The younger brother of Juventus legend Paolo Cannavaro, the no-nonsense Italian defender had two spells at the club; a one-year stint in 1998/99, followed by eight years from 2006-2014.

He captained the side back to success, having started in Serie B, and in 2012 lifted the club's first major trophy in 22 years when they heated Juventus 2-0 in the Coppa Italia final. He departed at the end of last season for Sassuolo.

Right Back: Giuseppe Bruscolotti

Nicknamed "The Iron Pole", Bruscolotti was a tough and tenacious right back who was nothing short of magnificent in 16 years at the club. He was, deservedly, captain for six years, and is remembered fondly by Napolisti. He holds the record for appearances with an incredible 511.

Central Midfield: Fernando De Napoli

Possibly the hardest position to fill, with Christian Maggio vying for a place, but in the end I have to select the appropriately named Italian. De Napoli was ever-present in the Golden Era of the 80's, and stayed for six years before joining Milan in 1992.

Central Midfield: Antonio Juliano

The dominant Italian midfielder spent 16 years at Napoli, from 1962-1978, and dominated the midfield. He was known for his equal skill at attacking and defending, and was wonderful on the ball. It's tragic that Juliano only received 18 caps for the national side.

Attacking Midfield: Marek Hamšik

The club's current captain is arguably the club's greatest player, with perhaps the exception of Diego Maradona and Ciro Ferrara. Since joining from Brescia in 2007, at the age of 19, for a bargain fee of €5.5m, Hamšik has gone on to become a crucial part of an upcoming Napoli side.

Although a midfield creator in role, Hamšik is already the club’s 8th highest scorer, and is 5th in their highest appearance list, averaging an incredible 43 games per season, but performing well week in week out. At his best Hamsik could walk into any team, and has established himself as one of the finest midfielders in Serie A.

Attacking Midfield: Diego Maradona

Well, do I need to say anything? During his Napoli career, Maradona was footballing Zenith. Widely regarded as the greatest of all time, he netted a record 115 goals for them, and could simply destroy any defence. Uniquely gifted in dribbling, passing and finishing, he's undoubtedly the club's greatest.

Striker: Careca

The Brazilian was, in all honesty, an incredible striker, with wonderful close control, unmatched vision, and he could finish, quite simply, like no other. He scored some truly spectacular goals for club and country.

Striker: Edinson Cavani

The Uruguayan, despite only spending three seasons at the club, scored 104 goals for them, with an astonishing 75.4% scoring rate. What's even more incredible is that the vast majority of Cavani's goals were spectacular, and he was, in essence, the perfect striker during his time in Naples. In 2013 he completed a €70m move to PSG.

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Edinson Cavani
Serie A

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