Edinson Cavani's hat-trick in SSC Napoli's 3-0 win against Juventus was worth singing about, but a musical tribute from the stands left the Uruguayan striker with "goose bumps all over".
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These are heady times for Edinson Cavani. He took the matchball home for his soon-to-be-born baby after a hat-trick in SSC Napoli's 3-0 victory against Juventus on Sunday night, but he will find the feelings evoked by a mass serenade harder to share.
"This is a fantastic moment for me," said the Uruguayan international, who has scored 13 goals in 19 league games this season and five more in the UEFA Europa League group stage.
Christian Maggio set up Cavani to break the deadlock after 20 minutes with a powerful header and the 23-year-old soon repeated the trick thanks to Andrea Dossena's accurate delivery. It was game over eight minutes into the second half when the summer signing from US Città di Palermo scored his third of the night, again with his head, from a Marek Hamšík cross.
It was Cavani's second hat-trick of the season after the three goals he scored against FC Utrecht in UEFA Europa League Group K. At the end of the game the supporters at the Stadio San Paolo stood up en masse and dedicated the Neapolitan song O Surdato 'Nnammurato (The Soldier In Love) to the player, who was born on Saint Valentine's Day 1987.
"It's such a fantastic joy to see all the people supporting you at the stadium, singing so loudly," said Cavani, who was clearly moved when he heard the supporters' chants. "I'm getting goose bumps all over. We played a great game and deserved this victory."
With S.S. Lazio losing 2-1 to US Lecce earlier in the day, the three points collected on Sunday night left Napoli second in the league, four points behind leaders AC Milan. The Partenopei are also the only Italian side still competing in UEFA Europa League and Cavani is aiming even higher for next season.
"We are in the Champions League places at the moment, but in order to keep our position we have to improve because we sometimes make too many mistakes, like three days ago [when they lost 3-1 at FC Internazionale Milano]."
Cavani certainly made no errors against Juventus, with coach Walter Mazzarri so satisfied with his players' performance that he proposed "making a plaque" to commemorare what Napoli have achieved in recent months. Mazzarri said: "Cavani did well but I want to underline that what a player does always depends on his position and on the way the team moves around him. However, yes, Cavani was amazing tonight."