Napoli’s only European honour was the1988-89 UEFA Cup. They won it at a time when Diego Maradona was still their main protagonist.
Since then the Naples club have yet to have a real presence in Europe but all that seems to have change now that Carlo Ancelotti is in charge. Ancelotti’s predecessor Maurizio Sarri never took the Champions League or the Europa League seriously as he was hell bent on winning the Scudetto. It was more of Sarri putting all of his eggs into one basket.
This season has seen Ancelotti weave his magic with the Azzurri and it’s clear to see the impact they are making in the Champions League. Of course Ancelotti’s history in the completion is storied and it seems he is writing a fresh new chapter in Naples.
When Napoli were drawn alongside Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Red Star Belgrade it seemed as if, the Serie A club would underwhelm. In fact many predicted Liverpool and PSG to be favourites but it looks as if Napoli might be favourites to go through.
They are after all top of their group with six points and again highlights the impact Ancelotti has had on the team. Previously under Sarri they were only prominent in Serie A but Ancelotti has found a way to make them competitive in Europe and Italy. He has given them a presence in Europe through his rotational squad policy.
In fact the former Real Madrid manager is making full use of the strength of Napoli’s squad as compared to only relying on a select few, which was what Sarri did. In doing so Ancelotti is moulding Napoli into a force in Europe.