Spalletti excited by Napoli potential: 'The once-in-a-lifetime year will be the next one... and the one after'

By Sports Desk March 18, 2023

Luciano Spalletti sees no reason why Napoli's remarkable campaign has to be their peak as he urged the team to make every season a "once-in-a-lifetime year".

Napoli face Torino in Turin on Sunday in what is their final match of the month, with the upcoming international window providing a brief break to the domestic season.

If results elsewhere go their way and they beat Torino, Napoli could head into the break with a 21-point lead at the Serie A summit, a surely insurmountable gap with only 11 matches to go.

Either way, the Partenopei are enjoying a sensational season, with their relentless surge for a first Scudetto in 33 years coupled with progression to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time.

But rather than focusing on what they are achieving, Spalletti can see their potential and hopes to inspire a quest for non-stop improvement.

"The once-in-a-lifetime year, as far as I'm concerned, will be the one after this, and then it will be the one after that, and it can go on and on," he told reporters.

"What happens to us now is real and must always be used to improve.

 

"The best is always what you want to go and discover. You must never stop, you must dig deeper to get the most out of something."

At 64, Spalletti is something of a stalwart of management in Italian football, having coached Udinese, Roma, Inter and now Napoli, among others, in Serie A.

If he does guide Napoli to the title, it will be his first league crown in Italy – even in the lower divisions, with Empoli, he did not win a championship, attaining back-to-back promotions by other means.

Nevertheless, Spalletti recognises the significance of his previous experiences and is now driven by a desire to make the most of the time he has left in the game.

"I try to optimise the time that passes, because one day we will be judged for the professionalism and seriousness shown in dealing with everything," he added.

"I know that I have to value all the opportunities that pass before me, because as a coach I don't have a lot of time, what with being 64 years old.

"And I am willing to do anything for Napoli to be able to enhance the events ahead of us."

Related items

  • Matildas captain Kerr to miss Olympic Games Matildas captain Kerr to miss Olympic Games

    Australia captain Sam Kerr will miss the Olympic Games in Paris after failing to recover from an anterior cruciate ligament injury in time for the team's upcoming friendlies. 

    The Chelsea forward suffered the injury during a mid-season training camp in January, leaving her participation in serious doubt.

    Kerr represented the Matildas at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, also playing at four World Cups and four Asian Cups during her international career.

    On Tuesday, Football Australia confirmed Kerr will not make the Olympic tournament – which begins on July 25 and ends on August 10 – while announcing the squad for two matches against China this month.

    "Attacker Amy Sayer (ACL) and forward Sam Kerr (ACL) remain on the sidelines with long-term injuries," a statement from the governing body said. 

    "Kerr and Sayer will continue their rehabilitation programmes in their home club environments and subsequently will not be available for selection for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games."

    Kerr, who is Australia's record scorer with 69 goals, was limited to just seven starts in the 2023-24 Women's Super League, contributing four goals and three assists for the eventual champions. 

  • Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Kroos to retire after Euro 2024 Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Kroos to retire after Euro 2024

    Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos will retire from football after representing Germany at Euro 2024.

    The 34-year-old was thought likely to sign a new contract with Los Blancos, but he announced on Tuesday that he will hang up his boots after representing his country on home soil at the Euros. 

    Kroos has enjoyed a distinguished 10-year spell with Madrid, who he joined from Bayern Munich in 2014, winning LaLiga and the Champions League four times apiece with the Spanish giants.

    He played a crucial role as Carlo Ancelotti's men regained their domestic title in 2023-24, but next week's Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund will be the final game of his club career before his Euros swansong. 

    He initially quit international football after the delayed Euro 2020 three years ago, only to agree to return to the fold under Julian Nagelsmann earlier this year.

    In an open letter to Madrid's fans, Kroos wrote: "As I have always said, Real Madrid is and will be my last club.

    "After 10 years, at the end of the season this chapter comes to an end. I will never forget this successful time! I would like to thank everyone that welcomed me with an open heart and trusted me. 

    "But especially I would like to thank you, dear Madridistas, for your affection and your love from the first day until the last one. 

    "At the same time this decision means that my career as an active footballer will end this summer after the Euro championship."

    Kroos also issued a rallying cry as Madrid target a record-extending 15th European crown, adding: "I am happy and proud that in my mind I found the right timing for my decision and that I could choose it myself. 

    "My ambition was always to finish my career at the peak of my performance levels. From now on there is only one leading thought, la 15! Hala Madrid!"

  • Earps seeking answers before making decision on Man Utd future Earps seeking answers before making decision on Man Utd future

    Mary Earps will seek answers from Manchester United regarding the club's direction before making a decision on her future, saying she has felt like a "punching bag" this season.

    Earps' contract with the Women's FA Cup winners is set to expire in June, and there have been few signs of progress concerning a new deal.

    Last year, United rejected a world-record bid for Earps, who starred as England won Euro 2022 and finished as runners-up at the 2023 World Cup.

    Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and other clubs have been linked with Earps, and she is biding her time after enduring a difficult campaign in which her commitment to United was called into question.

    "The honest reality is that conversations are still ongoing," Earps told Sky Sports on Tuesday. "I've been clear I don't want to make an emotional decision.

    "The beginning of the season was really tough, I felt really upset about things that were being said about me and things that came out that weren't true.

    "I've tried to be professional, keep my head down, work hard, get on with my job and that's been hard. I've been a punching bag at times.

    "I know I've given my heart and soul for the whole season. It's a tough situation.

    "I've asked the club for some confirmation on what they're trying to achieve and when I have those answers I'll be able to make a decision. It's up to the club."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.