Carlo Ancelotti is not surprised after Napoli hired his ‘friend’ Walter Mazzarri to replace Rudi Garcia.
Napoli travel to Spain to face Real Madrid in the Champions League tomorrow (Wednesday), four days after beating Atalanta 2-1 on the road in what was the ‘second debut’ of Mazzarri on the bench of the Neapolitans.
Ancelotti won the first leg in Italy last month, beating Garcia’s side 3-2 at the Stadio Maradona.
The Italian coach spoke about Mazzarri’s return in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
“I am not surprised. He is a coach who has experience, a good friend of mine and I think that a new coach always brings new motivation to the players”, said Ancelotti.
The La Liga giants will go into this match with a number of absentees starting with Courtois, Kepa, Militao, Tchouameni, Camavinga, Modric, Guler and Vinicius, but Ancelotti has his focus elsewhere.
“Talking about the problems we have and injuries seems like a lack of respect for those who are going to play and are doing well,” he said.
“They are contributing in a way I didn’t expect. If we are able to keep the pace with these problems, it means that the team is very good”.
Jude Bellingham is fit for action and will be Napoli’s main threat, especially after his performance in Italy was named ‘Man of the Match’, contributing to Madrid’s one-goal victory.
“English players sometimes have difficulties to adapt to Spanish football. Bellingham is fantastic and mature enough to adapt to any country in the world,” concluded Ancelotti.