Napoli boss Rudi Garcia believes Victor Osimhen is a similar leader to Cristiano Ronaldo and sets the Partenopei’s target for 2023-24.

Defending champions Napoli make their Serie A debut this season in an away game at Frosinone on Saturday and their new boss Rudi Garcia released an interview with DAZN ahead of the start of 2023-24.

Napoli won their first Scudetto in 33 years last season seeing Osimhen become the league’s leading scorer.

“Osimhen is a leader, he always wants to win and drag the team,” said Garcia, as quoted by Corriere dello Sport.

“He’s a bit like Cristiano Ronaldo. When he wins, he is super happy. He calls his teammates to take pictures and I like him. He is one of the best in the world, he could only attack, but he also helps the team defensively, he presses opponents and it’s so good for the team. This is part of the group’s qualities.”

Garcia coached Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr last season before signing with Napoli.

“I was on good terms with Cristiano, I understood why he had such a career,” said the coach.

“He was the first to arrive for training sessions and the last to leave. He is an incredible leader. He feels the competition also during training sessions. When he won a penalty shootout he celebrated with his ‘Siuu’ like in the Champions League.”

Georgian star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia also impressed in his first Serie A campaign last term and Garcia is looking forward to seeing him in action in competitive games.

“Kvara can still improve, he is a genius with the ball at his feet, and he is so nice to watch,” he said.

“Napoli must qualify for the Champions League and we need a strong team,” continued the coach, talking about Napoli’s targets for the new campaign.

“I reached the Champions League semis with Lyon. Europe is different, players put a lot of focus on it, but I need to stress that the daily work must be aimed at the league.”

Garcia was replaced by Luciano Spalletti at Roma in 2016 and has now replaced the Certaldo-born coach at the Stadio Maradona.

Garcia spent nearly three years in the capital and still has a solid bond with Roma and their fans.

“I already met José Mourinho for a friendly when he was at Madrid,” the French coach recalled.

“He brought enthusiasm to Rome, the stadium is always sold out. However, Roma fans are still attached to me. I went to a concert at the Stadio Olimpico after signing my contract with Napoli and everyone was nice and wished me good luck.”

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