Walter Mazzarri insists Napoli fully deserved to beat Inter and are “one of the big clubs now,” but tips Juventus for the Scudetto.
“For a long time I was underestimated as a Coach, while now it is pleasing and also embarrassing to hear all these compliments,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.
“The success of a tactician also depends on his players and the club. I think by now I have enough experience to deal with any bench.
“It's my eighth year in Italy and sooner or later I'd like to work overseas. I had many offers this summer, but never seriously considered leaving Napoli.
The Partenopei are flying high in Serie A and the Champions League with great results against the likes of Manchester City, Milan, Villarreal and Inter, though the latter 3-0 victory at San Siro was marred by refereeing errors.
“It's good that people are starting to talk about Napoli as one of the big clubs. Our performance at San Siro proves we have grown a great deal, but still have to use that battling spirit in every single game.
“The referee got it wrong with Joel Obi's first yellow card, but before then there was a penalty on Goran Pandev and another clear foul on Christian Maggio that weren't given. The fact remains, we controlled the game against Inter.
“I will always send out my best XI in the Champions League, so it's only natural that could have a knock-on effect in Serie A. I think taking part in the Champions League takes 8-10 points off a team domestically.
“Gigi Buffon says Napoli are strong, but are in Europe, so he is right. Watch out for Roma too, but I consider Juventus to be the Scudetto favourites. After that Milan, Inter, Roma, Lazio, us and then Fiorentina.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!