Benitez predicts big things for Napoli
Napoli coach Rafael Benitez has predicted a bright future for the club following the arrivals of Gonzalo Higuain, Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon from Real Madrid.
Those signings underline Napoli’s intent this season with not only a challenge for the Scudetto on the agenda, but also an assault on Europe topping Benitez’s list of priorities.
The Spaniard won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005 and is hungry to repeat that feat with the Serie A side after seeing similarities with the Merseyside club.
"If we talk about a squad, a club and the fans, then Napoli reminds me of Liverpool for the same passion it has for football," he said at a press conference in the club’s summer training camp in Dimaro.
"I don’t like watching the Champions League on TV, I want to be involved in those games. We’re going to work 100% to win every single game."
Much of the groundwork has already been laid with an impressive summer shopping spree which is not yet over. Despite losing Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint Germain.
Benitez has brought in the trio of former Real Madrid players while significant funds are still available.
"The president wants to make this club and the squad even stronger," Benitez said. “I’m very happy with the transfers - we’ve got some top international players, but the whole squad is going to be important if we are to win.
"Higuain is extremely strong and he’s done well in a big club like Real Madrid. I know him very well. We’ll have to see if somebody else arrives. We also want to work on our youth academy so the fans should be delighted. Napoli has a positive future."
Juan Zuniga also has a place in that future, according to Benitez, who has no intention of selling the Colombian wing back despite growing interest from Inter Milan and Juventus.
Indeed, Benitez does not want to see any more players leave the club this summer.
"It’s good to have such abundance," he said. "We’re going to be playing on three fronts and we’ll need players who want to fight for a place. For me, the situation with Camilo [Zuniga] is clear. He’s an important player for us and we’re working on continuing together."