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Walter Mazzarri: Napoli felt we could win it

Walter Mazzarri believed Napoli could secure a victory against Real Madrid before eventually succumbing 4-2.

The match began positively at the Bernabeu, with Giovanni Simeone scoring first. However, Rodrygo and Jude Bellingham orchestrated a comeback. Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa believed he had secured a point, but late defensive and goalkeeping errors allowed Nicolas Paz and Joselu to capitalize, resulting in a final score of 4-2.

“Carlo Ancelotti is a friend. He is very nice. But when I lose a game, my mind is clouded at the final whistle. So I don’t even remember what he said to me.” Walter Mazzarri told Sky Sport Italia after Napoli‘s loss.

There are additional factors as well. Mazzarri’s thick scarf was a response to flu symptoms, and Amazon Prime Video Italia disclosed that the coach also suffered a minor thigh injury after an intense sprint on the touchline.

“I think it was a very good performance. When the result was 2-2, if we had done better with the two or three counter-attacks we had. I thought that we could win it. At that point, we were not running any risks and Real Madrid seemed to be running out of steam.

“Then once we conceded that third goal, we had to pour forward and go for broke, which left the team unbalanced. It doesn’t change much when you lose 3-2 or 4-2. There were some small things I spotted that we’ll discuss, but overall it was a good game.”

Victor Osimhen came on at half-time. It raises questions about how long it will take for the Nigeria international to reach full fitness.

“He had 20-25 minutes in his legs with Atalanta at the weekend, we could not risk a relapse and so he is being reintroduced gradually.”

Walter Mazzarri: Napoli showed spirit

Napoli seemed to struggle in the final 15 minutes, displaying signs of fatigue more than anything else. Is it possible that the training methods employed by former coach Garcia and his fitness staff are to blame?

“We were tired, because there are so many games in a season. I don’t want to get into the fitness levels and do not dare judge the work of those who were here before me. So I have to focus only on what happened from the moment I arrived.”

The players unanimously believe that Walter Mazzarri’s arrival has enabled Napoli to recapture some of the spirit that propelled them to win the Scudetto last season.

“I agree they showed spirit. We managed to keep the team fairly tight, considering the quality of the opposition this evening.”

It marked his return to the Champions League after nearly a decade, coinciding with his comeback to Napoli after a 10-year absence, taking over from the dismissed Rudi Garcia.

“When you play at this level, it is always tough. Tactically there have been changes. Everyone tends to defend higher, press higher and try to win back the ball as quickly as possible. Even the smaller clubs do that.

“However, football remains the same when you are faced with a champion who takes his man on and gets past into open space.”

Alex Lundy
Alex Lundy
A lifelong football fan, Alex loves to dabble in its history, especially FIFA World Cup. But his love for sports doesn't end at football since he loves watching NBA and Formula1 too. Reading novels and watching classic films takes the rest of his time.


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