Walter Mazzarri hails Napoli’s “memorable 2011 that was beyond our rosiest expectations. We proved we belong in the Champions League.”
The Partenopei have been the breakout side of the past 12 months and look ahead to building on that in 2012.
“A memorable year comes to an end that was beyond our rosiest expectations,” said the Coach on the official club website.
“With third place in Serie A, reaching the Champions League and qualifying for the last 16. I thank everyone, as the lads showed great effort and hard work, whether contributing on the field or in the locker room.”
When asked for his highlight of 2011, Mazzarri simply couldn’t whittle it down.
“It would be unfair to point to one game or even just one moment. I prefer to talk about all we did to reach the first Champions League game at Manchester City, where we proved that we belonged there and could play on a par with the richest football clubs in the world.
“The second leg was the key to the knockouts. Was it the perfect game? It doesn’t exist, though I must say the 3-0 win away to Inter was pretty close.
“The fans deserve praise too, as they were just as responsible for Napoli’s success. They suffered and celebrated with us, never leaving us on our own, even in the difficult moments.
“I hope to continue on the same track as 2011, progressively raising our standards and giving our fans joy in Serie A and the Champions League. Reaching the last 16 is already a great achievement for us, but our philosophy remains that of never ruling anything out.”