La Gazzetta dello Sport explains why new Napoli coach Francesco Calzona is in a ‘better position’ than his Barcelona counterpart Xavi for tonight’s Champions League meeting at the Stadio Maradona.

The Partenopei appointed Calzona, their third coach this season, on Monday and the Italian tactician could only train his team once before tonight’s Champions League game against Barcelona.

Nevertheless, Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Fabio Licari feels the ex-assistant to Maurizio Sarri and Luciano Spalletti is in a better position than his opponent, Xavi.

The former Spain international has recently confirmed that he’ll leave the Catalans at the end of the season and President Joan Laporta has said that the ex-midfielder has remained in charge “only because he’s called Xavi.”

Licari wrote in Wednesday’s printed edition of the pink paper on page 15 that Barcelona players may be reluctant to follow a coach leaving at the end of the campaign.

Calzona is in a better position as, although he will likely leave the Stadio Maradona in the summer, he is appreciated by all players and staff members with whom he has already worked in the past. Also, he has less pressure than Xavi because Napoli will not change coach again before the end of the season.

Barcelona are also pretty weak defensively, conceding 24 goals in 12 matches in 2024. Calzona plays attacking football and, like Sarri and Spalletti, likes to keep the ball possession and play vertically.

At the same time, Napoli may be more motivated than Barcelona as the Catalans will surely qualify for the Champions League through La Liga, while the Partenopei are currently out of any European placement in Serie A.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tickets Kit Collector