Napoli celebrated a monumental win on Monday, beating Inter Milan to take first place in Serie A for themselves. A big part of that success was Gonzalo Higuain, who scored the brace that sent Napoli on their way and allowed the San Paolo to celebrate to a degree that is hasn't been able to in a long, long time.
For his part, Higuain seemed to be as happy about events as anyone, celebrating with an extra degree of emotion after each goal, and an emphatic part of the team's post-match celebrations. Speaking to Sky Sports Italia after the match, Higuain cracked the door a bit on just what that huge win meant for Napoli.
It’s a magical night. I am happy for the people, for us. I think it’s deserved and we have to make the most of it, as now we are first.
We have to suffer, I don’t know any team that doesn’t suffer to win something. We struggled at the end, Pepe Reina made an extraordinary save and we are happy.
We’re at the top of the table, where we wanted to be, but it’s a long season ahead.
-Translation source: Football Italia
Seeing the raw emotion displayed by Higuain and Pepe Reina and Marek Hamsik and so many others in this team after the final whistle -- not to mention the rapturous celebrations among the fans in the San Paolo -- you know just how much this accomplishment means to the team. These players have been through so much together, both this year's team and the guys who have been around for a few years. Napoli sitting in first place for the first time since 1990 is a validation for everything they've fought for for so long.
Hopefully this is the first of many, many more magical nights to come. Napoli can't afford to rest on their laurels -- the rest of Serie A is gunning for them now. They're not chasing the team in first place any more. They're the ones being chased. It's time to see just what this team is made of.