Walter Mazzarri agrees with Antonio Conte that being disliked “is a compliment” and warns Napoli not to underestimate Sunday’s opponents Palermo.
Claudio Marchisio caused a diplomatic incident this week when he told the Corriere della Sera he had “a particular antipathy” towards the Partenopei.
Conte argued in this morning’s Press conference that they ought to be flattered and Mazzarri agreed.
“I did not take Marchisio’s comments as offensive. In fact, being disliked in football is a compliment. Conte is right, in this sport we all want to win and the only teams everyone likes are the ones nobody respects. This means Napoli are respected.”
The San Paolo side welcome Palermo on Sunday afternoon and will be facing two players who only left earlier this month, Salvatore Aronica and Andrea Dossena.
“This is a match with many hidden dangers after our victory against Roma. We must not fall into the trap of thinking it’ll be easy, because we all saw what happened when we did that with Bologna. Historically Napoli have done well against the big clubs and struggled against the smaller ones.
“We can only thank Aronica and Dossena, who gave us a big hand over the years. I hope they play worse than they usually do, though!”
Instead, Napoli have signed Pablo Armero from Udinese and Siena striker Emanuele Calaiò.
“There were roles we had to cover and these players are going to be very motivated. I spoke clearly to Calaiò before his arrival and he knows what role he has in this squad.”
Finally, Mazzarri was asked about Edinson Cavani and links with Real Madrid.
“In Spain there are bigger gaps in their defences, but I hope Cavani can continue to score goals in Italy, as they are more important when scored here.”