ROME — Cristiano Ronaldo never had a chance.
Arkadiusz Milik converted the decisive spot kick in a penalty shootout as Napoli won its sixth Italian Cup following a 0-0 draw with Juventus on Wednesday.
Ronaldo was likely Juventus’ last penalty taker but after Paulo Dybala had his shot saved and Danilo blasted high over the goal, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner could only stand at midfield and watch as Napoli won the shootout 4-2.
The game went straight to penalties without extra time being played — a precautionary measure for players still getting back into shape in only their second match of the restart.
In the first half, Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne hit the post with a free kick.
Juventus controlled most of the possession but Napoli had the better chances as Juve’s 42-year-old goalkeeper Gianlugi Buffon made a series of difficult saves — until the shootout.
While it was played in an empty stadium, the final was another sign of the return to normalcy in a country hard-hit by the coronavirus.
The nearly 35,000 who died from COVID-19 in Italy could have filled half of the 70,000-seat Stadio Olimpico.
The game was broadcast nationally on free-to-air RAI state TV and was expected to draw a large audience.
"I strongly wanted soccer to restart with the Italian Cup," said sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora. "Tonight isn’t merely a final. It’s a message of renewal for the entire country."
The arena grew even quieter when the teams stood at the centre circle for a minute of silence before kickoff to honour the virus victims.
"The country needs to bounce back and sports will be a motor for economic and social renewal," Spadafora added.
After a break of more than three months, soccer restarted in Italy last week with the second legs of the semifinals.
The final was originally scheduled for May 13.
Serie A resumes Saturday.