The Napoli coach: “I would have preferred not to meet an Italian”
Milan-Naples in the quarter-finals of the Champions League: a double Italian derby to win a place in the semi-finals. The pairing decided by the draw held today in Nyon pleases the coaches of the two teams. “I would have preferred not to meet an Italian. Milan is a club with great experience and a winning history,” says Luciano Spalletti, coach of league leaders Napoli, in no uncertain terms. “Against Eintracht in the second leg of the round of 16 we won a game with many pitfalls, because when everyone says you’re the favorite to go through, they put you under considerable psychological pressure. Then there was great happiness because we achieved an historic milestone But it’s also true that happiness lasts until the next round, and this city deserves ever greater happiness,” added the Napoli coach.
“Who is the favorite between Napoli and Milan in the quarter-finals? In the meantime, I would have preferred not to meet an Italian. Then only the incompetent in football speak of a favorable draw. Only Real Madrid has won more European Cups than Milan. And their General Manager, Paolo Maldini alone won 5. Milan has a history that speaks in its favour. Experience in the international field, everyone recognizes as fundamental. And from this point of view, then, Milan are the favourites. Moreover, they eliminated a team very strong that Tottenham are,” he continues. “Milan is constantly growing, they have passed the dark period of the season and have found a new set-up. We expect 3 close matches against them and whoever is better and in better condition will win. Milan are a very important opponent”, concludes Spalletti .
“The draw for the Champions League? We were training. Any opponent would have been difficult. We’re in the quarter-finals, they’re all strong. We want to keep going. Napoli are strong, they’re dominating in the league, but the Champions League is the Champions League and Milan is Milan “, says the Rossoneri coach Stefano Pioli. ” We will be there with merit, motivation and ambition: we want to go through. Have I heard from Spalletti? I don’t think he will write to me. I have an excellent relationship with him. We will meet first in the league. The league is different from the Champions League. Now let’s think about the championship since we come from a defeat and a draw,” he adds.