Spalletti Aims to Create Legends by Writing Napoli’s History

    Luciano Spalletti wants his Napoli team to “become folklore” by reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history.

    After a 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg in Germany, the runaway Serie A leaders are on the verge of a top-eight finish in Europe’s club competitions.

    With a whopping 18 points at the Serie A summit and unbeaten in their last 11 Champions League home matches, the Parthenopei will certainly be delighted with their chance to finish the job at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

    Although they ended up being relegated on the only previous occasion when they won a knockout match in the competition, conceding a 3-1 lead before ultimately losing 5-4 on aggregate at this stage against Chelsea in the 2011- season 12.

    However, Spalletti knows what is at stake for the club and has issued a battle cry to his players at the pre-match press conference.

    “Great teams are made up of great players,” he said. “Tomorrow’s game is about writing history. Our city is full of great stories and great personalities. We strive to become part of the history of Naples and become the folklore of this city.

    “It can be compared to the first season finale. I don’t think it can put pressure on the side because I’ve seen them deal with many positive and negative situations already this semester.

    “Since this is almost the final, I want to see the mood of the team, which is hungry and wants a result. I saw them in training all semester and they never lowered their heads.

    “Now the test is to forget what happened in the past and focus on getting the job done now.”

    Despite their favorable position, Spalletti insists his team should not take anything for granted against last year’s Europa League champions.

    “It would be terribly arrogant of us to assume that we are already in the next round, we don’t do that,” he added. “Tomorrow we need a head, a heart and a bit of luck.

    “Don’t forget that Eintracht went through a group that included Tottenham, Marseille and Sporting. Last year they beat Barcelona who eliminated us, so we have full respect for the work that Oliver Glasner is doing and we know it will be difficult.

    “We will not underestimate Eintracht Frankfurt, the qualification is only 50-50 so far and we must repeat the magical performance of the first leg. It was unusual, and to repeat it is no small feat.

    “Eintracht will try to do something different because they have to, so we have to be humble and ready for anything.”

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