Matteo Politano admits it was ‘really not easy’ for Napoli players to focus on the Europa League after Diego Maradona’s death.
The hours leading up to the 2-0 victory over Rijeka were overshadowed by tributes to the club legend, who died on Wednesday evening at the age of 60.
“It was a very sad day and a difficult game to get focused on, which was really not easy after everything that happened,” Politano told Sky Sport Italia.
“This is a tough moment, but all us players want to bring home a trophy this season so we can dedicate it to Diego.”
The players all walked out wearing Maradona 10 jerseys and thousands were gathered outside chanting his name.
Before kick-off, Lorenzo Insigne and historic club coffee and kit man Tommaso Starace walked out to place flowers at the gates with the rest of the fans.
“We did well to break the deadlock and then go on to win the game,” continued Politano.
“We need to improve in our passing and to stop losing the ball cheaply, as we did in the first half, when we risked giving away some dangerous counter-attacks.”
Napoli are now top of their Europa League group with nine points, followed by Real Sociedad and AZ Alkmaar on seven.
“We’re on the right track now in the Europa League and have a very tough game on Sunday, because Roma pass it well, play good football and are difficult to beat.”