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Jan 12, 2013

Conte: Napoli are a big club

Antonio Conte says Napoli should be proud to be disliked, believing such feelings "means they have joined the group of big clubs."

The Juventus coach was responding to questions regarding a comment from Claudio Marchisio regarding the southern club. The midfielder caused controversy on Friday after saying that "something goes off in me" when playing against Napoli.

Yet Conte believes the Partenopei should, instead of being insulted, embrace the fact they are the cause of such emotion.

"Marchisio's words were obviously referring to a sporting rivalry," he told a press conference on Saturday. "Napoli dislike us every bit as much. It is only normal to have rivalry between big clubs.

"Napoli ought to be proud to have our antipathy because it means they have joined the group of big clubs with strong sporting rivalry like us, Milan and Inter."

Conte then responded to criticism of Juve's strikers not scoring enough goals countering that such demands is a consequence of playing for a prestigious club.

"Playing for Juventus has a different psychological weight to representing other clubs," he said. "Sebastian Giovinco was under constant pressure, now Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella are the ones being criticised in the media. You go from top player to garbage heap from one day to the next."

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