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Benitez: Napoli can be new Liverpool

Napoli coach Rafa Benitez believes that the upwardly mobile Partenopei can emulate the historic success that Liverpool have had.

Napoli boss Rafa Benitez has claimed that his Azzurri have what it takes to replicate the history that Liverpool have.

Benitez is enjoying a great start to the season at Napoli, who are second in the Serie A table and emerging as major Scudetto challengers.

Despite their massive fan base and boasting alumni such as Diego Maradona, Napoli had to endure some testing times in their recent history and were in Serie C as recently as 2006.

But the club have climbed their way back to the summit of Italian football and tactician Benitez insists that they don't have to stop here.

"Can Liverpool's history be repeated here at Napoli? Why not?" Benitez responded during an interview with Cardena Cope, TuttoNapoli.net reports.

"This is a growing club and a growing team where the players are learning a lot. At first this team used to rely on Edison Cavani's goals and counter-attacking but now there's Gonzalo Higuain, who plays for his teammates. And we're learning various other ways of playing."

Benitez was also asked for his views on Maradona, who is often outspoken in the Italian media with his views about Napoli.

"Maradona is still a legend but we are trying to carve out a new piece of history," the ex-Liverpool man insisted.

"People say Maradona wants to coach Napoli? Yes, but in a few years' time, so that's no problem for me." 

Napoli face Marseille tomorrow in the Champions League and Group F is perfectly poised with Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli all level on six points.

"Unfortunately there's the possibility of getting 12 points and that not being enough," Benitez said. "However, we are only focusing on Marseille because that will be a difficult match."

image: © thesportreview

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