Raul Albiol says that Napoli must focus on pushing for success ‘immediately’, rather than ‘make the mistake’ of aiming for a title in ‘three or four years’.
The Vesuviani are approaching the run-in to a first season under Rafa Benitez and are sat 20 points behind three-time-champions-elect Juventus and so are very much targeting second place, currently occupied by Roma.
However, according to the team’s Spain international centre-back, thinking only of a long-term project towards success is not the right attitude for his teammates.
“How far are Napoli from the Scudetto? We have to work hard and think immediately to being able to compete with the best,” Albiol has considered to the Corriere dello Sport today.
“Unfortunately this year we have gone wrong against small teams. The lesson has been learned and next year we will be more decisive against certain teams.
“The error we must not make is to say that we will be among the best in the next three or four years. Football is based in the present and we are already strong.
“What is lacking in defence? What serves us is the work of the whole team. The problem is not only about those at the back, but the whole XI.
“The Europa League elimination to Porto was borne from the fact that in the first leg we did not score. If we had scored in Portugal, everything would have been different.
“In Napoli we were unable to come back and unfortunately it went wrong.”
Napoli will host Juventus on Sunday.
“Against Juve on Sunday it will be a very special game for the fans and for us. Now, however, we think of Catania and then we will devote ourselves completely to the challenge of the year against the Bianconeri.
“How do you beat Antonio Conte’s team? We will have a match full of intensity and concentration must be at a thousand. To me there are not 20 points’ difference between us and Juventus and it will not be noticed in a single game.
“Carlos Tevez? He is a great striker and this year he is proving so. Higuain next season though will score even more because he has figured out how Italian defences work.
“In Spain, no team defends with five men.”
Albiol was asked of the continued rumours that Napoli are in talks to bring in Javier Mascherano.
“I’d love that, we all know that he is a player of very high level.”
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