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Napoli boss Garcia lauds Real Madrid for replacing Benzema with Bellingham

Napoli head coach Rudi Garcia has praised Real Madrid for replacing Karim Benzema with English star Jude Bellingham.

Napoli will host Real Madrid in the second game of the Champions League group stage on Tuesday night. Both teams won their first group match.

“The Champions League is the best competition, it’s a special moment for coaches and players,” said Garcia in his pre match press conference as quoted by TMW.

“Just listening to the music is enough to get motivation. Napoli must play in the Champions League every season. We are the group leaders alongside Real Madrid, but it’s through the league that we play in the Champions League every season.

“Real Madrid have a unique palmares, they still have at least ten players from the last Final they won against Liverpool [in 2022].”

Napoli coach also if they want to get a result against Real Madrid, they should be humble and give their 120% in this match.

Garcia said: “They were good at signing Bellingham to replace Benzema although they don’t cover the same position, but they were also good at signing Joselu.

“They have many valuable players technically, but also tall and strong players for set pieces. We have many options too, we are strong in all departments, it’s an important game, so we must be humble and give 120% of our qualities.

“They have many strong footballers with technique and physicality. I don’t know who Carlo Ancelotti will play, but we must be focused on ourselves and know who we face. Our players must know everything about the opponents, we must be good at managing some details.”

After an unconvincing, start to the season, Napoli won their last two league games while scoring eight goals.

“We won the first two games, so I don’t think we had a bad start,” added Garcia.

“Some players are performing better anyway. Kvara is lighter in the head, he has returned to scoring. He used to think about goals too much. We are more efficient with shoots on target which was what we needed to improve. We also scored our first goal from a set piece against Lecce. When you score goals, it’s easier not to lose games.”

Garcia also said his players are fully focused on this match because all of them had dreams of playing in this kind of matches.

“It’s one of those games everyone dreams of playing, we are only focused on this match,” said Garcia.

“It will be our fourth game in nine days, which is surely too much for players. For example, Di Lorenzo will play his seventh game in a few days, including the national team.

“Players can solely focus on the game they play, but I must think about what’s coming next too. Now we’ll give our all in the Champions League, then we’ll have five days to rest. We must be ready physically because we’ll be there with our hearts.”

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.
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