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The last time Napoli won the title: Nelson Mandela, German reunification and the birth of the World Wide Web

We take a look at what was happening in April 1990 when Napoli were last crowned champions.

Napoli's last Scudetto: The world in 1990

Napoli have clinched their first Italian league title in 33 years. A 1-1 draw away at Udinese was enough to secure the Scudetto and spark scenes of wild jubilation in Udine and throughout Naples.

Only twice before have Napoli won the Scudetto, both coming during Diego Maradona’s time at the club from 1984 to 1992.

For months the stadium, renamed the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in 2020, has been eagerly anticipating a historic third league triumph.

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On 29 April 1990 Napoli secured their second title with a 1-0 win over Lazio on the final day of the season. Now, after a 33-year wait, Naples is celebrating once again.

We take a look at what was happening in the world when Napoli were last crowned Italian champions.


When Napoli won their first league title in 1986/87 the Soviet Union was still very much intact but by the time Maradona guided the club to its second the picture in Europe had shifted dramatically.

The process of German reunification began in 1989 but lasted for more than two years. On 24 April 1990, less than a week before Napoli were crowned champions, West Germany and East Germany agreed to merge their currency and economies.

In February 1990 Nelson Mandela was freed from the Victor Verster Prison, South Africa, after 27 years behind bars.

In August 1990 San Luis Obispo, California passed the United States’ first indoor smoking ban, and possibly the first such ban anywhere in the world.


Napoli’s most recent Scudetto win predates some ground-breaking technological advances. In May 1990 the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit. It is still in operation after more than three decades and is considered one of the most important and versatile projects embarked on by NASA.

Even more significant change was to come in October 1990 when Tim Berners-Lee began work on the World Wide Web. The British computer scientist launched the first web server and began testing the capabilities of the technology that would become the internet.


In 1990 Napoli were the Italian champions and Germany became world champions, lifting the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Maradona’s Argentina in Rome.

There was much success for Italian teams in continental competitions. Napoli may have been knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Werder Bremen but Juventus went on to win the tournament with a 3-1 win over Fiorentina in the final. In the European Cup, AC Milan beat Benfica in the final.

In other sports, in April 1990 Nick Faldo won the Masters, beating 1976 Masters champion Raymond Floyd to the green jacket.

The week before Napoli’s Scudetto triumph the NFL draft was held in New York. Jeff George was selected as the number one pick by the Indianapolis Colts and he would go on to play 14 seasons in the league.

Later on that night, the Denver Broncos drafted Shannon Sharpe as the 192th pick. In a stellar career Sharpe won three Super Bowls and made the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team. He still holds the NFL record for most receiving yards in a game by a tight end.


At the 62nd Academy Awards ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ won four Oscars, including Best Picture. Daniel Day-Lewis picked up the Award for Best Actor for his performance in ‘My Left foot’. In terms of the highest-grossing movies, ‘Ghost’ was at number one in 1990. ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘Home Alone’ complete the top three.

In music ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ by Sinead O’Connor was top of the US charts when Maradona lifted his second league title in Naples. In the United Kingdom Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ was at number one.