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Mar 19, 2014

Napoli focused on Porto clash

Rafa Benitez says the Europa League is Napoli’s only concern right now.

Rafa Benitez had wanted to send his young talent out to a feeder club to further their first-team development.
Rafa Benitez guided Chelsea to last season's Europa League.

The Partenopei host Porto in the second leg of the last 16 on Thursday looking to overturn a 1-0 defeat from their first clash.

Third-placed Napoli are also looking to beat Roma to the runners-up spot in Serie A, but for the time being Benitez is only worried about booking a place in the Europa League quarterfinals.

"Right now the most important game is this one," the Spaniard, who won the competition with Chelsea last May, told a news conference. "Everybody's watching the Europa League and I think it's important for the club's growth to go through. Our main objective is to get second place, if we can make it, but first we need to play this game with the aim of winning it."

Reaching the last eight would not be the end of the road for Napoli in Europe either, according to midfielder Valon Behrami, who wants to go all the way to the final in Turin.

"The Europa League's an important objective for us," he said. "It's getting more and more interesting the further we go so tomorrow is a crucial game for us. We're up against a great side, but we know we can do it."

Winning the Europa League would also give Napoli a better chance of recruiting big-name signings in the summer, Behrami feels.

"The Europa League is a long, difficult path to follow, but winning it would be great for Napoli's reputation in Europe," Behrami said. "When you go through in competitions like this, it's a big message for potential new signings."

Benitez added: “It's true. Winning in this competition would be important for the growth of this club, and to put Napoli on the map."

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