News Live Scores

Napoli's Paolo Cannavaro admits Champions League progress has affected domestic form

Paolo Cannavaro has admitted that Napoli’s exploits in the Champions League have taken a toll on their domestic form.

The Partenopei had hoped to mount a serious title challenge this season, after finishing third last year, but they are currently seventh in the standings, 12 points behind leaders Juventus.

Cannavaro concedes that securing qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League proved a heavy burden to bear for Napoli but he remains confident that they can still salvage their Serie A campaign.

"We have made more of an effort in the Champions League and the points won in Europe are those that we have dropped in the league,” the centre-back is quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We are making some mistakes but also things have not gone well for us. But last year we were ninth and came third. These are just numbers.

“We want to go much higher and we believe we can still point to a possible third. The team, the coach and president want to qualify for Europe.”

The Coppa Italia represents another potential route into Europe for Napoli and on Wednesday night they face holders Inter in an intriguing quarter-final clash, one which Cannavaro insists that the Partenopei are taking very seriously.

"Twice recently we have been eliminated by Inter in the Coppa so we have been waiting for this game,” he revealed.

Napoli face Chelsea in the last 16 of the Champions League in February.