NEWS
Thursday July 18 2013
Rafael puts Balotelli on spot

New Napoli goalkeeper Rafael fancies his chances of denying Milan’s Mario Balotelli from the penalty spot.

The Italian has been faultless from the spot in his professional career, but the Brazilian is a penalty saving expert.

“I’ve stopped a number of penalties,” he noted at his official unveiling on Thursday after his move from Santos.

“I have got a specific technique, I move a lot along the line to close the goal's view to the shooter. I often get it right.

“I’ll try to stop a Balotelli penalty. He waits for the ‘keeper to move and I wait before diving…”

Rafael had a number of offers on the table, but opted for the Stadio San Paolo even if he may not be guaranteed first team football.

“Napoli are a great and, in Brazil, they are known as one of the world's best clubs. Benitez wanted me here too and he is an important Coach.

“Benitez knows my qualities. He saw me many times with Santos and he picked me because of my characteristics.

“He told me to be patient and to continue to interpret my role as I have been doing. Then he will decide who is going to play, I just have to work hard.”

The 23-year-old added: “I have arrived at a club that is going to fight for both the Serie A title and the Champions League.

“It was the right moment for me to measure myself in such a prestigious championship, I am young and I want to grow a lot with this team.”

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!

FOOTBALL ITALIA RELATED NEWS

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES