Sport Soccer

Monday 25 September 2017

Benitez aims to keep Napoli 'growing'

New Napoli coach Rafael Benitez is delighted to have joined a Champions League side who are "still growing".

Benitez was announced last month as the successor to Walter Mazzarri in the Naples hot-seat, and had his official unveiling to the media yesterday.

After posing with, and signing, a Napoli shirt in front of photographers and camera men from around the world, he said: "I am very happy, very happy.

"The main thing you can see is that a lot of journalists are here from different countries, that shows the club is growing. We are in the Champions League and still growing."

Napoli secured their place in the elite European competition by finishing second in Serie A last season, their best result since they last won the Scudetto in 1990.

Club president Aurelio de Laurentiis is aiming to push on further from that mark, and said: "Rafa Benitez is an international name.

"We have made very big progress in the last four years, and I hope in the next five years to jump again and again and again.

"There is a company in England who rated us in 20th place in Europe, a German company put us 15th and UEFA, I think, has put us 29th.

"Benitez will help in that process of going up, with results which will put us in the condition to play – I hope for ever – in the Champions League."

Irish Independent

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