Thursday June 9 2011
Messi eyes Napoli clash

Barcelona sensation Lionel Messi has hopes of playing against Napoli in next season's Champions League.

The Azzurri will return to Europe's top club competition for the first time since the glorious days of Diego Armando Maradona, their own Argentine inspiration.

"For us Argentines, the Stadio San Paolo in Naples is mythical," the South American told Il Mattino on Thursday.

"It is always nice to play against sides with a rich history. And if this team also includes Ezequiel Lavezzi then it becomes even more interesting.

"You have to work hard in the Champions League, it's a competitive tournament and you can't make any mistakes."

As well as admiring Argentine international colleague Lavezzi, Messi also respects the goal threat of Edinson Cavani.

"He's a player that I know well," the Barca forward, 23, added. "I admire him, he's a great football player.

"His Uruguay will be one of the favourites for the Copa America and it'll be nice to meet him in the Final…"

Napoli qualified for the Champions League after finishing third in Serie A this season behind Milan and Inter. Barcelona won the trophy this term.