Calzona praises Napoli after the draw with Barcelona: "I saw players who gave their soul"

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Calzona praises Napoli after the draw with Barcelona: "I saw players who gave their soul"

Francesco Calzona spoke to the microphones of Amazon Prime Video after the Neapolitans' draw at Maradona against Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16. The new coach partially praised the performance of the Azzurri: “There were people who gave their soul”.

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Francesco Calzona spoke to Amazon Prime Video after the Neapolitans' draw at Maradona against Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16. The new Italian coach who prepared this match in just a few hours said he was satisfied and enthusiastic about the performance expressed by Osimhen and his teammates even if something needs to be corrected. “We conceded a lot to a team of this level and we could have paid dearly for it – he explains – In the end the team believed they could win the match and this is an important signal”.

Calzona is in fact positively surprised by this aspect after the last Napoli matches he saw before his arrival: “Usually at the end of the match the team had a sort of decline but I liked it anyway – he explained – I liked the spirit, I I saw players who gave their soul and weren't about to lose the match.” Clearly there is a lot of work to be done and Calzona knows this very well, specifying his point of view: “It's clear that with our tactical problems we were in difficulty and I didn't like that there was too much disorder on the pitch.”

Calzona's charge on the bench during Napoli-Barcelona.

Calzona's charge on the bench during Napoli-Barcelona.

The Napoli coach is aware of the structural problems that a team that has changed managers three times in the year following the Scudetto victory may have. But Calzona gave the impression of knowing where to correct these errors. “Whoever took over was fresh in his mind and I'm happy with this aspect” he explained, underlining how the attitude shown also by those who started the match from the bench could certainly make his job easier.

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“In the first half hour we suffered a lot then we reacted and this reaction is a fundamental quality – Calzona reiterated forcefully – For a team to fight until the 95th minute against Barcelona makes me satisfied”. A debut as Napoli coach which Calzona therefore evaluated positively due to the fact that the qualification discussion is now totally open and the coach will have much more time to work with the team before playing for the passage to the quarterfinals in the return match.

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