From 1926 to 1962

From 1926 to 1962

From the Associazione Calcio Napoli (Naples Football Association) to the first Coppa Italia

The Associazione Calcio Napoli was founded on August 1st 1926. Several clubs already existed at the time: Audace, Open Air and Juventus del Vasto.

Its certificate of incorporation was drafted, edited and approved over wine offered by the owners of the D’Angelo restaurant. Not only did this document change the name of Internaples, but also its legal status, transforming it from a limited to a stock-holding company, in accordance with a new federal ruling.

Giorgio Ascarelli, a wealthy young Neapolitan businessman of Jewish origins, became its first President, to be succeeded by the Honourable Giovanni Maresca di Serracapriola, a much appreciated player on the Naples and U.S. International teams in his youth. Gustavo Zingaro became its third President, followed by Giorgio Ascarelli again, who died at the age of thirty-four, just months before the end of the fourth championship in Serie A. He was succeeded by Giovanni Maresca and Eugenio Coppola.

Commander Achille Lauro joined the company in 1936.  A southerner and one of Italy’s foremost businessmen, he had amassed a huge fortune and could thus, it was thought, secure Naples the Scudetto.  He failed.  Indeed, some people felt he simply did not want to succeed: perhaps he just did not believe in the team enough. After his four years as the President, Gaetano Del Pezzo di Caianello, Professor of Projective Geometry as well as captain and mentor of the blue-and-white U.S. International team, stepped in.

Napoli’s first streak in Serie A ran from 1926 to 1941 – fifteen consecutive championships in premier league, taking fifth place in the 1929-30 series, fourth in 1932-33, and third in 1933-34, opening the way to European tournaments.

The 1941-42 series finished with Naples in seventeenth place, which meant relegation to Serie B. It came third in Serie B the following season, behind Modena and Brescia, and third in the 1944-45 regional tournament. That year Serie A was not played due to the war, but competition was resumed in 1945-46 with a combination of teams from Serie A and Serie B, in which the Salerno team also participated.

Back in Serie A in 1946, Napoli lasted only one season, falling back into Serie B in 1948 for two seasons. Back in Serie A once again, it remained there for eleven straight championships. After another year in Serie B it once again made Serie A and, with the able contribution of Argentine player Bruno Pesaola, nicknamed ‘petisso’,  one of Napoli’s greats, won the Coppa Italia in 1961-62.