Marcello Lippi has revealed that Chelsea Coach Andre Villas Boas is concerned about facing Napoli in the Champions League last 16 later this month.
Lippi recently spent some time with Villas Boas in Scotland, after the two were invited to attend and address students on the UEFA Pro Licence course that is run in Glasgow.
Despite recent struggles in the League that has seen Walter Mazzarri’s men go without a win in five, Lippi revealed that in meeting the young Chelsea boss, Napoli are still held in high esteem in Europe.
“Napoli are not suffering, we must look on the bright side,” he said on Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli. “They are growing each year.
“Last year they were in a unique position as they fought for the title, so it is normal that fans are building up excessive expectations.
“But, if we look at this year, we realise that Napoli still have produced extraordinary things.
“Then there will be the tie against Chelsea. Last month in Glasgow at a meeting of Coaches, I met Villas Boas and he was very concerned about the match against the Azzurri. This is a sign that the club are generally held in high regard internationally.
“Sure it would be ideal for them to position a little higher in the table, but they are still in the race for third place.
“In any case, for what the team, the Coach and the club are doing, they deserve a great recognition. This team is growing slowly, last year they produced a great championship, this year they have played remarkably in the Champions League.
“Next year I’m sure the Azzurri will have a different approach to both competitions and do well in both.
“The growth of the team is through passing all these moments. Even if all Napoli’s players have personal experience at the international stage, the growth of the team is a different thing.
“But this is ok and I advise you - do not complain of what is being done at Napoli.”
Lippi then had some interesting words of advice for colleague Mazzarri.
“I am an admirer and friend of Walter’s, I appreciate what he is doing with Napoli.
“However, I have also said before, at the start of the season, that the impression he gave was that he had made a choice of wanting to focus on the Champions League.
“I realised during my years with Juventus that you should never choose a goal, you must always aim for everything.
“If you try to win everything then in the end you can achieve at least something. This is the only way to win anything.
“It is an example of arrogance, but is the only way to achieve something. One cannot favour one particular goal.”
Betting on Serie A? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more