Saturday May 3 2014
ADL: 'Napoli positive without Coppa'

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis wants tonight’s Coppa Italia Final with Fiorentina to be “an image of beautiful football.”

It kicks off at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT).

“I ask my players to provide a great spectacle in a full stadium. They must play for the joy of those in the stands and tonight we’ll have a live and virtual audience to impress around the world,” he told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“We must give an example of beautiful football that is powerful, but also educated and respecting the rules.”

This is the only chance for either club to get silverware this season, but De Laurentiis denied suggestions Rafa Benitez’s first campaign would be considered a failure without the Coppa.

“I give my Napoli the highest praise. It was not easy to emerge from four years of growth by changing Coach, system and 13 players.

“We went from the 3-5-2 to the 4-2-3-1, which Benitez considers to be the most widely used system in the European football that counts.

“This change brought problems, as not all the players were accustomed to this style, especially the midfielders. Some came from Udinese, where they had already been playing 3-5-2 in the Walter Mazzarri mould.

“The fans do not take certain changes into consideration because they just want to win and that is fair enough. Nobody can doubt our desire to win.

“My conscience is clear, I signed a class Coach who has my faith and was able to bring top players to Napoli. I think next season Benitez will do even better.”

While Napoli won the Coppa Italia in 2012, this would be Fiorentina’s first trophy since their bankruptcy.

“This is the second Coppa Italia Final of my tenure,” continued President De Laurentiis.

“These are two important clubs, who both had to come back up from Serie C after bankruptcy and started again, proving they are teams with impetus and sporting antagonism.

“I find this to be a positive campaign also because it is a transitional period. I don’t think it’s so easy to move from one Coach to another from a different territory and culture.

“We could’ve sold Edinson Cavani and not replaced him adequately in terms of goals, yet we scored many this season. For the eighth year we are in Europe and within the parameters of Financial Fair Play.”

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