Mazzarri hails Pandev: He is football

The Macedonian struck twice in the Partenopei's 3-1 win in the final friendly match before the Supercoppa final against Juventus, and his coach is delighted to have him
Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri has hailed new arrival Goran Pandev, exclaiming that "he is football".

Pandev struck twice in Saturday's 3-1 friendly victory over Braga in their final warm-up match before travelling to Beijing to take on Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana.

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And Mazzarri is clearly thrilled to have the former Inter man on board for the coming campaign.

"I have already said everything about Goran. He is football. To see him at this level again makes me glad," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

Uruguay international Miguel Britos was likewise effusive in his praise of the Macedonian, and was especially grateful for the goals that helped overturn the Portuguese side.

"We started very well, and then we dropped, perhaps because of the heat. Unfortunately, we conceded a goal from a restart by Braga, which was avoidable," Britos said.

"Luckily, Pandev has made a big difference up front. Moreover, he is a champion, as demonstrated during his career."

Napoli now travel to China for their Supercoppa Italiana showdown with Juventus, and Mazzarri is confident they can get a positive result which could see them kick on in the new Serie A season.

"In Beijing, both for us and for Juventus, there will be the unknown factor of the first official match, but I'm confident," Mazzarri added.

"The goal is to reach the top. This past year we have been penalised by [extra matches in] the Champions League, but this time will be different, even though the Europa League will not be neglected.

"We'll see where we are in March and then we will understand where we can get. "