NEWS
Saturday March 15 2014
Benitez: 'Historic Napoli chance'

Rafa Benitez said Napoli “have an historic opportunity” and must continue building for the future with more star players.

The Coach spoke to Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli after a 1-0 Europa League defeat to Porto, but the second leg is at the Stadio San Paolo next Thursday.

“We have an historic opportunity. We must maintain our star players and add more. Continuing in the Europa League is important, but we have to grow as a club to attract more great players.

“In order to improve and win we need adequate structures to keep the champions happy like Gonzalo Higuain, Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon.

“What are Napoli missing? Just some time. It’s not easy the first year, because the team has to understand the mentality. That is perhaps lacking.”

Marek Hamsik struggled again with Porto and confessed he was frustrated with himself, so how does Benitez view the situation?

“Hamsik is a player who no longer has Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani by his side, so he needs to take on a greater share of the responsibility. He started the campaign well, but lost something with the injury.

“He works very hard, but has to show everyone ‘I am here’ and ensure he is always seen.”

Napoli play Torino on Monday evening, then host Porto for the Europa League on Thursday.

“There are regrets over the first half in Oporto and I hope next time to see the Napoli that played in the second half,” continued Benitez.

“Porto are a Champions League team who won many titles, so it won’t be easy to knock them out. However, playing at 100 per cent we can beat anyone.”

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