Wednesday November 2 2011
Mazzola has Napoli optimism

Napoli could reach the semi-finals of the Champions League this season, says Inter legend Sandro Mazzola.

The Azzurri have made a bright start on their return to European Cup action and they'll face Bayern Munich tonight.

Despite a few difficulties in Serie A this term, Mazzola has faith in the footballing ability of Walter Mazzarri's men.

"With a little bit of luck, I think they could have a really good go at reaching the semi-finals," Mazzola, himself a winner of the trophy as a player in 1964 and 1965, told Tutto Napoli.

"If you take away Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United, I'm convinced that the Azzurri are on the same level as everyone else in the competition."

The Stadio San Paolo outfit finished third in Serie A last term, but they're struggling to juggle the commitments of domestic and European competition.

"The Champions League uses up energy," the former Italian international continued. "They are also not used to these competitions.

"Napoli have been reunited with Europe's top competition after many years out of it. It's clear that they would have to pay some kind of penalty."

Napoli are second in Champions League Group A, two points behind Bayern and one clear of Manchester City.

In Serie A, the Azzurri are fifth – five points behind leaders Juventus who they will entertain this weekend.