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Ranieri: “Determination, desire and sacrifice in Naples”


Ranieri: “Determination, desire and sacrifice in Naples”

Sampdoria face another tough fixture at high-flying Napoli on Sunday in what will be the first Serie A match at the newly named Stadio Diego Armando Maradona – a move Claudio Ranieri tipped his hat to when he spoke ahead of his team’s departure for Naples on Saturday.

“Naming the stadium after Maradona is a lovely gesture because besides being a world-class player he was in many ways the soul of Naples,” the coach noted.

Gennaro Gattuso’s side will of course be looking to mark their territory and Ranieri is well aware of what his men can expect as they head into four back-to-back matches before the Christmas break.

“Napoli have only lost the game that was awarded to Juventus and the one against AC Milan, so we’re going up against a really compact team. They move the ball around well and have Gattuso’s grit. They have lots of top players and played at great speed, especially in attack.

“We’ll have to show determination, desire and sacrifice because we need points. We must be completely focused on the task at hand, especially now that we’re playing every three days. We did that very well last season and we must do the same this year.”

Finally, the coach spared a few thoughts for Italy’s 1982 World Cup hero Paolo Rossi, who passed away this week.

“Those goals of his against Brazil are etched in football history. Paolo was a cheerful chap and everyone liked him. He was a great guy.”

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