Tuesday March 11 2014
Callejon: Next year, the Scudetto

Jose Callejon believes that Napoli will be eyeing a push against Juventus for the Scudetto next season, as he reflects on his goalscoring exploits.

The Spaniard is two-thirds through a debut season in Italy with the Vesuviani and, whilst they have dropped to 17 points behind League leaders Juve, he believes a title push next season is not out of the question.

“Who would I like to score against? The response of the fans would be Juve,” begain Callejon on N+ this week in relation to his recent form in front of goal.

“I also think this and that this is a team that can achieve something next year.

“We need another year, for other good players to arrive, and the goal is within two years to win something important, to win the Scudetto. This would be important for us.

“For us, the Coppa Italia is very important and we want to win that title, hoping that it is the first of many others.”

Callejon scored the winner at the weekend against Roma, to close the gap to second place to three points.

“Benitez told us immediately after the game that we had won an important match. We are now higher in the rankings and we have to reach second place.

“What can we improve on? We play well, we can almost always score goals, we have beaten Roma twice. We have a lot of games to play and there are still many important ones ahead, but when we are tired we have to keep the same mentality with both big and small opponents.”

In signing Callejon from Real Madrid in the summer, Rafa Benitez commented that he was capable of scoring 20 goals a season.

“I left Real Madrid because I wanted to play more. And when Benitez called he convinced me right away. I am very happy with my experience at Napoli and I would make the same choice again.

“I remember when I arrived on the first day the Coach spoke to me in Italian and I immediately told him that he had put too much pressure on me. But he thought we could do it, and I am doing it.

“Was Roma the most important goal of my career? I hope not, I hope that others will be more important.

“I’m happy to play as a striker, I really like it and as a youngster that was my position. Am I like Cristiano Ronaldo? I like him as a player, but I’m just Callejon.

“When I arrived here, the fans thought about how I had come from Real Madrid where I played little, but I always thought that if I worked hard in training and had the confidence in myself that the opportunities would come. I do my job 100 per cent and that makes me comfortable.”

With Barcelona seen as signing Marc-Andre ter Stegen as their goalkeeper for next year, speculation now is on Pepe Reina’s future at the end of his loan spell at the San Paolo.

“I hope that he stays here. He is in love with Naples, he is a guide for me and I want him here next year. He always does a great job, as we saw against Roma.

“Mertens? He has great speed and great technique, he is very good in one-on-one, he can score goals, he is already a complete player. I think he will do well at the World Cup with Belgium.

“My plans in the summer? If I get a ticket to Brazil from Del Bosque, I will go, otherwise I’ll be in Spain with my family, with my twin brother. He plays in Bolivia, in my role.

“We were together at the academy at Real Madrid, then we split up - him to Mallorca, me to Espanyol. He shoots better than me, he often scores. Him at Napoli with me? That would be great.”