Ancelo i restoring pride to Napoli in Europe
WHEN Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti looks at Paris Saint-Germain, he sees a squad transformed from when he became the first big-name hire by the club’s Qatari owners.
“There are many differences. Back then the squad was still being constructed. Whereas now the project has reached the final phase — winning the Champions League. PSG is now among the best squads in Europe,” Ancelotti said Monday, a day before Napoli hosts PSG.
Ancelotti led PSG to the French league title in 2013, the first of five championships in six years. With a squad featuring two of the world’s top players in Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, the only cup missing for the bigspending Qatari owners remains the Champions League.
Having also coached Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in recent seasons, Ancelotti raised some eyebrows when he returned to Italy for this season with Napoli, a club that hasn’t won Serie A since Diego Maradona led the team to its only two titles in 1987 and 1990.
While challenging eventual champion Juventus in Serie A last season, Napoli looked like a poor shadow of itself in Europe.
Last season, Napoli finished third in its group behind Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk and was relegated to the Europa League.
Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti, left, and forward Jose’ Callejon attend a press conference in Castel Volturno, near Naples, Italy on Monday.