Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti has promised their final Champions League group stage match against Liverpool will be a ‘spectacle’. The Partenopei had already guaranteed their place in the last 16 having won their first four matches in the group, beating Ajax and Liverpool along the way. The penultimate match saw them trounce Rangers 3-0 with a brace from Giovanni Simeone, as Spalletti rotated the squad slightly with qualification already assured.
Speaking in his press conference after the match, the coach talked about the depth of his squad and the ability to rotate players:
The younger players have the ability to always be ready. They are ready in any game, even if they don’t play the previous one, and when this attitude fits in the locker room it becomes an incredible force, it has been seen in the performances of Politano and Raspadori.
This will allow and continue to allow us to always have fresh players who can make a difference.
I have several strong players and these players play these games here. There are serious guys, they want to play, everyone would like to play. At first I had called Kvaratskelia to enter, a quarter of an hour could do it, there was a need to keep the ball….it also becomes embarrassing seeing the level of availability that I have in my squad, rarely have had I had this in my career!
Is it strange to have won all the game sand still not be sure of first place in the group?
“If there is a team like Liverpool in the group, it is strange to be there at the top, it is the opposite (laughs, ed), the assessments must be made correctly. It is a finale that the team has earned with so much effort, it is nice to go Liverpool, it will be a beautiful evening, without tension, I am sure they will be ready, a spectacle is guaranteed!”
What responses did Raspadori and Ndombele give?
“I have both seen both of them play very well, Raspadori like the others, did not play a specific role, he moves the ball quickly and takes the free space and therefore everyone adapts to the space that is created according to their teammate. In the first half, except Politano, Elmas also played as the mediano, when the ball moves fast and with quality the team seemed without roles and there I learned many things. Ndombele played a very good game, I saw him a little tired but he has these reactions because he seems compassionate and then he flashes, he is awake, he understands football and makes these moves that you don’t expect “.
Many of the players are ‘old-young’ people, are they already mature?
“Italian football thinks they are not ready, we have a fairly young team but people like Raspadori are in the national team, Simeone has been great everywhere, despite moving between many teams, if they train in a certain way it is easy to grow even those who play less like Gaetano, Zanol, take Di Lorenzo’s movements… the important thing in training is to bring about the situations in the game.”