Matteo Politano admits ‘it hurt more’ when Napoli failed to qualify for the Champions League than missing out on UEFA EURO 2020, but Luciano Spalletti urges fans to ‘move on’ from that setback.
The Partenopei would’ve secured a top four finish if they had beaten Hellas Verona in the final game of the Serie A season, but they were held to a 1-1 draw by a team that had nothing to play for.
It saw them leapfrogged by Juventus and knocked down to the Europa League.
During a Q&A at their training camp this evening, Politano was asked if he was more disappointed by that failure or when he was dropped from the Italy squad for the Euros.
“More for Napoli, because we really did give it everything we had,” was his response.
“A bad game can happen, there are many big clubs who dropped points against the smaller sides last season and unfortunately that’s how it went, but I am sure we’ll make up for it in future.”
Politano was in the larger squad preparing for the European Championship, but Roberto Mancini ultimately cut him from the final group that went on to win the trophy by beating England on penalties at Wembley Stadium.
Gennaro Gattuso was the Napoli coach at the time, but new boss Spalletti intervened to put a stop to the recrimination over that Verona flop.
“We have got to stop going on about the Verona game, because we can’t change it now. It’s in the past and we can’t go back, we need to make that very clear in our minds.
“It’s better to think about the next test instead, that’s what the players and fans must realise.”