Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri is determined to reach the Champions League group stage ahead of Wednesday’s qualifier against Nice.
Now in his third season at the club, Sarri said that Naples should be represented in the competition as they prepare to host the first leg at Stadio San Paolo.
“We need to get through – we are representing a city worthy of the Champions League and we want to get them in there,” Sarri said.
“Our condition is decent, or as decent as it can be for an Italian side at this stage of the year. Facts show that it’s a difficult moment for us Italian clubs, and now we got drawn against a strong team – one who beat Ajax – who were in the Europa League final just a few months ago.
“This is an extremely difficult game for us, especially given the time of the year. We are not yet up to speed and we are already a side who tend to concede something, and this is a knockout game so we’ve got to be careful that we don’t give anything away in this game.”
The Serie A side were eliminated by eventual champions Real Madrid last season, and Italian forward Lorenzo Insigne is eager to get another go at Europe’s top clubs.
“Last year, both in the league and the Champions League, we proved we are a great team,” Insigne said.
“We were beaten by Real Madrid, but I think we played a great game and showed we can hold our own at these levels. Now we want to prove again that we deserve to be in the Champions League.”