Monday August 21 2017
Koulibaly: ‘Balotelli is a great player’

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly says “we know Mario Balotelli is a great player, but we have to think about ourselves”.

The Partenopei face Nice tomorrow in the second leg of their Champions League play-off, with a 2-0 lead from the first leg.

However, Balotelli and Wesley Sneijder were both injured for the match at the San Paolo, but could play in France tomorrow.

“They’re experienced players with talent,” Koulibaly said in the pre-match Press conference, sitting alongside Coach Maurizio Sarri.

“We’ll try to play a great game, trying to play our attacking football. Everything is possible in football, but we want to win and we’ll play to try and qualify. The Champions League is a big objective for us.

“We know Balotelli is a great player, everyone knows him and he’s very strong but we have to think about ourselves, we can’t focus on every single player.

“We want to do well tomorrow, I hope we don’t concede any goals.

“It’ll be a very passionate match, we’ll need to be careful for every single minute of the match. Nice are very dangerous, especially with these two experienced players but the Coach has prepared us well and we know what’s waiting for us tomorrow.”

A clean sheet will see Napoli through to the group stages, and Koulibaly knows how important it is to be defensively solid.

“We know the defensive phase is important for us, last year we dropped a few points because we conceded too many goals.

“We want to do better this year, and play even more. We have to do well, but that’s down to the whole team.

“We need to make as few mistakes as possible and concede fewer goals.”

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