Marek Hamsik reveals he is ‘not yet ready’ to be part of the Napoli staff under Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona, but ‘there is plenty of time’ and he feels bad at missing the planned Walter Mazzarri reunion.

It kicks off at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona at 20.00 GMT.

You can follow all the build-up and action as it happens on the LIVEBLOG.

The second leg of this Champions League Round of 16 tie will be at Camp Nou on March 12.

It is a return to Naples for Calzona, who was already an assistant manager here under both Maurizio Sarri and Luciano Spalletti.

He is continuing his other job as coach of the Slovakia national team, where Hamsik is his assistant manager, but the former Napoli midfielder will not be joining him at club level.

“I can only thank Calzona for wanting me in his Slovakia staff,” Hamsik told Sky Sport Italia.

“Perhaps in my mind I am not yet ready to return to Napoli, but there is plenty of time and I hope the doors will always be open for me.

“I have a great rapport with the coach and wish him all the best. It is a dream come true for him to be coach of Napoli and he thanked the Slovakian Federation for allowing him this opportunity.”

Having spent most of his career as an assistant manager, including under Eusebio Di Francesco, what is Calzona like as a head coach?

“He’s extraordinary, as he always had a strong character and the lads in the national team love the way he works, so if he brings that to Napoli, then the Azzurri will improve,” added Hamsik.

Calzona was brought in as the third Napoli boss of the season after Rudi Garcia and Hamsik’s old coach Mazzarri were fired.

“I am sad for Mazzarri, as we had a great bond and it’s never good to see things end like this. We did talk, he wanted me to come and see him in Naples and I had organised this trip two months ago. Unfortunately, things changed.”

Although Hamsik is not part of Calzona’s staff at club level, he was still present at this afternoon’s traditional pre-match lunch with the Barcelona delegation.

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