Stefano Pioli has reminded critics of how things have improved for Milan since he took over five years ago amid speculation about his job.

Milan suffered a 3-1 defeat to Torino on Saturday, meaning they have won just one of their last eight games in all competitions.

Pioli, who led the Rossoneri to the Scudetto in 2022, is under contract until 2025 but has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks despite securing second place.

However, Milan currently sit 18 points behind rivals Inter, who secured the league title after their derby win in April, and exited the Europa League after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Roma in the quarter-final.

"Over these years, we raised everyone's expectations and now people act like second place is suddenly shoddy," Pioli told DAZN. "You know full well that is not the case. Only one team can win.

"It was a good season; we were the best of the 'normal' teams behind an Inter side who did something extraordinary.

"Our regrets are in the Champions League and Europa League, but that's what those tournaments are like, if you don't take your chance in that moment, you can go out.

"I arrived with Milan in one situation, and I leave – if I leave – with Milan in quite another. The rest is just lots of talk and not much content."

Meanwhile, Ivan Juric says he intends to leave Torino when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Since taking over in 2021, Juric has led Torino to two top-half finishes and looks to do so again with the club currently sitting in ninth and in contention for a European place.

Despite a successful spell in charge, Juric says there is no reason to stay, even if they finish in the top eight.

"No, there simply aren’t the right conditions to continue here," he told Sky Sports Italia. "I would like more joy and there isn't joy here.

"You try to change things, but after a while, you realise it’s pointless. It was right for us to try to go for Europe, we had a fantastic three years."

Milan will finish their season at home to already-relegated Salernitana, while Torino travel to Atalanta on May 26.

Milan suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat at mid-table Torino in Serie A on Saturday after being punished for a slow first-half performance.

Torino dominated the first 45 minutes, scoring with two headers; Duvan Zapata picked out the bottom corner after 26 minutes before Ivan Ilic doubled their advantage by throwing himself onto Raoul Bellanova's cross before the break.

Former Milan player Ricardo Rodriguez needed only 18 seconds in the second half to unleash a fierce left-foot shot from distance into the top corner of the net for Torino's third.

Ismael Bennacer converted a penalty for Milan in the 55th minute after a foul on Christian Pulisic, but the visitors, seemingly focused on their final match against relegated Salernitana, never threatened to get back into the game.

Torino are ninth in the standings on 53 points, while Milan will finish second in the standings behind local rivals Inter.

Data Debrief: Home comforts

Torino have lost just two of their home games in Serie A this season, finishing on a high against second-place Milan in what is possibly Ivan Juric's final game in charge. 

Zapata proved an influential figure for Torino once more, and has scored the joint-most headed goals in the top five European league this season: eight (level with Harry Kane).

Hakan Calhanoglu scored twice to give newly-crowned Serie A champions Inter a comfortable 2-0 win over 10-man Torino on Sunday, extending their unbeaten league run to 28 games.

It was a party atmosphere at the San Siro with confetti and fireworks before kick-off as the Inter fans continued to celebrate the Scudetto title they secured on Monday with a 2-1 derby win over Milan.

Inter's win over Torino moves them onto 89 points, 19 clear of Milan with four games remaining.

The Torino players gave Inter a guard of honour as they entered the pitch and Inter coach Simone Inzaghi answered the crowd's call for him to celebrate with them.

In the first Serie A game to be officiated by an all-female refereeing team, four minutes after half-time Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi sent off Torino's Adrien Tameze for a foul on Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Inter made the breakthrough seven minutes later when Mkhitaryan passed to Calhanoglu in the area who drove a shot into the bottom corner.

Calhanoglu converted a penalty four minutes later after a foul on Marcus Thuram and the party will continue into the evening as the Inter players parade through the streets of Milan on open-top buses.

Torino remain 10th in the standings on 46 points.

Juventus’ poor run in Serie A extended to just two wins in 11 games as they were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw away at city rivals Torino.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side, who were top of the league when they beat Lecce on January 21 but who now trail leaders Inter Milan by 19 points having played a game more, failed to break down their mid-table opponents as their astonishing collapse in form dragged on into another week.

It was the third game in four in the league in which they have failed to score and leaves them vulnerable to being caught in the race to qualify for the Champions League, with fifth-place Roma able to cut the gap on them to five points should they win their game in hand.

Dusan Vlahovic had Juve’s clearest chances of the first half, first when he knocked Federico Chiesa’s cross against a post, then again when he was foiled by Vanja Milinkovic-Savic in the Torino goal.

The goalkeeper was called on again to deny the visitors, diving at full stretch to keep out a firm low effort from Kenan Yildiz.

Duvan Zapata thought he had given Torino the lead when he crashed the ball home shortly after half-time, only for his effort to be ruled out for a foul committed by Raoul Bellanova against Juve’s Filip Kostic.

Antonio Sanabria rose highest to meet Bellanova’s cross midway through the second half, drawing a good save from Wojciech Szczesny as Torino threatened.

The hosts might have made it a truly disastrous night for Allegri when Karol Linetty’s ball in was turned over the crossbar by Valentino Lazaro, who seemed to make contact with the ball with his neck with the goal gaping.

It concluded a frustrating encounter for Juve, and came in stark contrast to the comfortable 2-0 win they enjoyed in the derby back in October, when the team were in the early stages of what looked a credible title challenge.

It leaves Allegri’s side in a fight to ensure they do not miss out on the Champions League for a second consecutive season.

They still have the possible consolation of the Coppa Italia to aim for, and play the second leg of their semi-final away to Lazio on April 23 looking to defend a 2-0 aggregate lead.

Napoli’s dismal season continued as they succumbed to a seventh defeat of the season in Serie A, losing 3-0 at Torino.

Antonio Sanabria, Nikola Vlasic and Alessandro Buongiorno got the goals as Walter Mazzarri’s defending champions had another miserable afternoon.

A dismal afternoon for the visitors was compounded by the 50th-minute dismissal of Naples-born wing-back Pasquale Mazzocchi, less than three minutes into his debut.

They are now winless and without a goal in four matches and lie 20 points behind leaders Inter Milan.

Napoli had a 20-3 aggregate goal advantage in the last eight meetings of these two teams in Turin, winning seven and drawing the other.

However, it was destined to be the hosts’ day from the moment Sanabria broke the deadlock two minutes before half-time.

Duvan Zapata flicked an Ivan Ilic free-kick on for the Paraguay international, who tucked the ball away left-footed from six yards.

Napoli’s hopes of getting back into the contest were killed off as they made a sloppy start to the second half.

Zapata had already forced Pierluigi Gollini into a save at his near post less than two minutes after the restart when the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

Mazzocchi, a half-time substitute for Piotr Zielinski, had been on the pitch for  three minutes when he received a yellow card for a high, reckless challenge on Valentino Lazaro. However, referee Maurizio Mariani then decided to dismiss the 28-year-old Napoli debutant, following VAR intervention.

Torino soon doubled their advantage, Vlasic beating Gollini with a well-placed low right-footed shot into the corner two minutes later.

Sanabria hit the post from eight yards and Zapata failed to tuck the rebound away from close range, with Gollini blocking with his foot then scooping the ball away before it could cross the line.

However, the dominant hosts made it 3-0 in the 66th minute when central defender Buongiorno headed home a Lazaro corner.

Giovanni Simeone skied an 80th-minute attempt at a consolation goal, capping a miserable Napoli display as Torino moved to within a point of their ninth-placed opponents.

Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi has urged his side to improve their concentration as they visit Torino on Saturday.

Inter lost ground at the top of Serie A when they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Bologna, allowing city rivals AC Milan to open up a two-point lead.

A tough test awaits when they head to Turin and Inzaghi knows his side cannot afford any more lapses.

“There will be a need for a very high concentration and desire to do well because a very difficult match awaits us. Intense,” he told Inter TV.

“We are working hard on the defensive organisation. The league table and performance in Europe say we are doing well, but we need to improve again: in the last match, for example, we conceded two clearly avoidable goals and therefore we must make progress day after day.

“The whole team must participate in the non-possession phase.

“Preparing for the first game back from a break is never easy. Most of the players got back on Wednesday, the South Americans yesterday.

“We know that Torino are a good team with a coach in his third year with them. We’ll need a great Inter performance.”

 

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Scoring goals is certainly not a problem, with 21 in eight games, but Inzaghi thinks there is more to come.

“It’s true, we score a lot and with different players, but we know that we can still improve this figure,” he added. “By training as best we can and finding more goals also with our defenders, with the midfielders.”

Captain Lautaro Martinez has been at the forefront of that, scoring 11 goals in 10 appearances.

“Lautaro is a player with a huge sense of belonging,” Inzaghi added. “He’s improved a lot in the last couple of years and, of course, the armband has given him more responsibility. He also has top team-mates who always try to set him up.”

Inter will assess their players, including Nicolo Barella, as they return from international duty.

Massimiliano Allegri says victory is the only option for Juventus in their Turin derby with Torino on Saturday.

Juve host their city rivals in Serie A hoping to hang on to the coat-tails of the two Milan clubs at the top of the table.

They are also looking to bounce back from a disappointing 0-0 draw with Atalanta last week and Allegri says it is important to get bragging rights in a “special” encounter.

“We are not satisfied with a result other than victory,” he said in a press conference reported on the club’s website.

“It will be a derby and these are always special matches. In managing the ball and passing, we will undoubtedly have to play a better match than the one in Bergamo, aware of the value of the team we will face.

“We face a Torino that is difficult to play against, an aggressive team led by Ivan Juric who is an excellent coach. For him, the results he achieved and the growth of his players speak for themselves.

Midfielder Paul Pogba remains suspended amid reports he has tested positive for testosterone in his B sample.

Juventus will also be without Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa but Moise Kean and Kenan Yildiz will be involved.

“Moise Kean is doing well and will play.” Allegri added.

“It’s sad not to have Chiesa and Vlahovic because they are doing very well, but these things are part of the game. Kenan Yildiz is ready to play like everyone else who is available.

“On Saturday I will see, the derby is important and above all for us it could serve as another step forward in the standings. We are calm.

“In terms of goalscorers we have Kean, Arek Milik and Yildiz, in midfield we have Adrien Rabiot, who is a goalscorer, Nicolo Fagioli and Fabio Miretti who will start to score goals soon, and then several defenders who are always dangerous on dead-ball situations.”

Turin is black and white if recent results are anything to go by, with Juventus unbeaten in their last 17 meetings with Torino going back to 2015.

Their head coach Ivan Juric has seen his team push Juve close in recent years, without being able to get over the line.

And he hopes that changes on Saturday.

“An aggressive Juve awaits us, we hope to repeat what we have done in the past in terms of performances but with a different result,” he said on his club’s official website.

AC Milan’s attacking prowess was on show as they eased to a 4-1 victory over Torino to maintain their perfect start to the Serie A season.

Olivier Giroud and new signing Christian Pulisic were both on target in the opening win over Bologna and claimed three of the four goals again here.

USA international Pulisic grabbed the first in the 33rd minute from a pass by former Chelsea team-mate Ruben Loftus-Cheek to kick off what was a hectic end to the first half.

 

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Perr Schuurs levelled three minutes later from Torino’s first opportunity but Giroud converted his first penalty in the 43rd minute after a lengthy VAR check for handball.

And there was still time for Theo Hernandez to make it three before the break, while another VAR review resulted in Milan’s second penalty in the 65th minute, which was again converted by Giroud.

Hellas Verona joined Milan on six points with a 2-1 victory over Roma. They were two up at the break through Ondrej Duda and Cyril Ngonge and held on despite Houssem Aouar pulling one back shortly after half-time and Isak Hien’s red card.

Newly-promoted Frosinone claimed their first victory, defeating Atalanta 2-1, while a double from Andrea Colpani secured a 2-0 win for Monza against Empoli.

In the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund needed a Donyell Malen equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw with Bochum, who had taken an early lead through Kevin Stoger.

It has been a less than convincing start to the season for Dortmund after the disappointment of their title near-miss last term.

There are no such concerns for Union Berlin, who sit top of the table after a 4-1 victory over Darmstadt despite playing with 10 men for more than an hour following Brenden Aaronson’s dismissal.

Berlin were 1-0 up at the time through Robin Gosens and quickly conceded an equaliser but shrugged off the setback, with Gosens scoring again before goals from Kevin Behrens and Danilho Doekhi.

Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Freiburg also maintained their 100 per cent starts to the campaign.

Victor Boniface scored twice in Leverkusen’s convincing 3-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach while there was also a double from Jonas Wind as Wolfsburg came from behind to beat Koln 2-1.

Freiburg looked set to be held by Werder Bremen only for Maximilian Philipp to pop up in the sixth minute of stoppage time and earn a 1-0 win.

Newly-promoted Heidenheim were two goals up on Hoffenheim heading towards the final 10 minutes and seemed on course for a first win only for the visitors to score three times and clinch a 3-2 victory, with Andrej Kramaric grabbing the winner from the penalty spot.

LaLiga teams used Saturday’s matches to show their support for Jenni Hermoso and the Women’s World Cup winners in their dispute with the federation.

Captain Olga Carmona was in the stands at Sevilla, whose players wore T-shirts bearing the words “Se Acabo”, which translates as “It’s Over”, while Cadiz’s players carried a banner supporting Hermoso.

On the pitch, Sevilla remain without a point after a 2-1 defeat by Girona, who have started well, while Granada defeated Mallorca 3-2 and Kaiky Fernandes netted a stoppage-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw between Cadiz and Almeria in a match that saw both teams finish with 10 men.

Paris St Germain claimed a belated first Ligue 1 victory of the season, defeating Lens 3-1. Kylian Mbappe began to put the summer’s bad blood behind him with two goals after Marco Asensio had opened the scoring.

Chancel Mbemba Mangulu and Ismaila Sarr were on target as Marseille made it seven points from their first three games with a 2-0 victory over Brest.

Inter warmed up for the Champions League final with a 1-0 win over Torino to cap off their Serie A campaign.

The Nerazzurri head to Istanbul to face Manchester City on June 10, but the Coppa Italia winners had league business to attend to on Saturday.

Marcelo Brozovic's excellent strike proved the difference, with substitute goalkeeper Alex Cordaz making a superb save to preserve Inter's lead in the second half.

Inter will face an altogether tougher test in a week's time, but for now, Simone Inzaghi can reflect on a job well done in Serie A.

Romelu Lukaku sparked what had been an insipid first half into life when he crafted space on the edge of Torino's area and saw a low strike deflected just wide.

Stefan de Vrij headed straight at Vanja Milinkovic-Savic from the resulting corner, but Torino's goalkeeper was beaten in the 37th minute.

Given space and time on the edge around 20 yards out, Brozovic punished Torino with a fine left-footed strike that nestled in the bottom-right corner.

Brozovic turned provider shortly after the restart, only for Roberto Gagliardini to head wide from close range.

Ex-Inter forward Yann Karomah almost made an instant impact from the bench when he forced a fine save out of Samir Handanovic, who subsequently received an ovation when he made way for Cordaz in the 65th minute.

Cordaz made a stunning save soon after, reacting brilliantly to parry Antonio Sanabria's effort wide and ensure Inter ended their domestic campaign with a victory.

Lazio head coach Maurizio Sarri has called for resignations over the decision to overturn Juventus' 15-point deduction in Serie A.

The Bianconeri were hit with the penalty in January after an investigation into a capital gains case, with the club found guilty of alleged breaches in relation to historical transfers.

However, Juve's appeal to have the deduction revoked proved successful, with the Collegio di Garanzia announcing on Thursday the penalty has been annulled.

The Italian Football Federation (FICG) could yet punish Juve again after re-evaluating the case, but for now they have jumped to third in Serie A.

Massimiliano Allegri's men have the chance to leapfrog Lazio into second should they beat leaders Napoli on Sunday, but Sarri is not happy with how the situation has been handled.

"From a legal point of view, I don't have the knowledge to be able to give an opinion," he said following Lazio's 1-0 home loss to Torino on Saturday.

"But from a sporting point of view, the championship is distorted. For months there was a ranking, but now it's different and could change. 

"I hope someone in sports justice has the good taste to resign."

Sarri's mood was not helped by what he thought was a poor display from the officials in the loss to Torino, with Ivan Ilic's first-half goal proving the difference.

"The refereeing had an impact," he said. "[Elseid] Hysaj should have had a penalty, and Torino's goal came from a throw-in metres inside the pitch. It influenced the game. 

"I wonder how seven people didn’t see these things. The boys were good – there was a risk of being reduced to nine or 10 men with these referees."

Real Madrid are reportedly eager to bolster their full-back options, to upgrade from Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy.

Los Blancos were linked with Manchester City's Joao Cancelo - currently on loan at Bayern Munich - earlier this week by Fichajes.

The Spanish giants are set to miss out on this season's LaLiga title, with Barcelona leading by 10 points.

TOP STORY – MADRID KEEN ON LIVERPOOL'S TAA

Real Madrid will turn to Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold should they fail to land Reece James from Chelsea, claims Ekrem Konur.

Los Blancos are in the market for a new full-back and Konur claims Madrid could also turn to Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong.

Alexander-Arnold has had a mixed campaign for Liverpool, who appear set for a squad revamp in the off-season. The 24-year-old England full-back is contracted with the Reds until 2025.

 

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is an admirer of Torino's 21-year-old midfielder Samuele Ricci with Los Blancos keeping tabs on his situation, according to Tuttosport.

– The Sunday Mirror claims Manchester City are leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham from Real Madrid , with Liverpool having pulled out.

Chelsea are looking to offer Romelu Lukaku as part of a deal with Atletico Madrid to sign Portuguese forward Joao Felix permanently, reports Fichajes. Chelsea are unwilling to pay Atletico's €100m asking fee, but may part with €70m along with the Belgian forward.

Tottenham are tracking Barcelona winger Ansu Fati, reports Mundo Deportivo. The report suggests Spurs are willing to make him their most expensive transfer in club history.

RB Leipzig are considering a move to sign Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun in the close season, claims Todofichajes. Balogun has impressed this season on loan with Reims .

Chelsea have interviewed Sporting boss Ruben Amorim about taking over as manager next season, reports talkSPORT.

Jose Mourinho could not resist a dig at Serie A rivals Juventus after seeing his Roma side secure a crucial 1-0 win at Torino on Saturday.

Paulo Dybala's eighth-minute penalty was enough for the Giallorossi, sending them into third place after Milan and Inter both drew on Friday.

Juve lost 2-1 at Lazio to leave the Bianconeri on 44 points, nine adrift of Mourinho's side, though the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss is not convinced that will remain the case.

The appeal Juve lodged against their 15-point penalty for transfer fee irregularities will be heard on April 19, meaning the top-four picture could eventually look very different.

Speaking after the win in Turin, Mourinho did not care about the quality of the performance, just the three points, before referencing Juve's situation.

"Matches are won when you score one more goal than your opponent," he told DAZN. "This is the goal not only in football but in sport: you have to win by trying to exploit your qualities and try to hide the problems.

"We are third in the standings? Are we sure that Juve don't have 59 points? We are in Italy."

Since 2004-05, Dybala (11 goals, six assists) is only the second player to score more than 10 goals and record more than five assists in a debut season for Roma in Serie A, after Mohamed Salah in 2015-16.

Roma have nine league games remaining as well as their upcoming Europa League quarter-final against Feyenoord, and Mourinho is hopeful of success on both fronts despite what he sees as squad limitations.

"The opponent that worries me the most in the Champions League fight? Ourselves, the fact that we want to think like a great team but we have a squad with limits," he said. 

"We have three games a week and it's hard for us, but I'm not capable of thinking small. We go ahead from game to game.

"I'm not able to say that Udinese is less important than Feyenoord – let's think game by game. Today we didn't score a second goal, otherwise the game would have been completely different."

Luciano Spalletti lauded the hunger of Napoli to not rest on their sizeable Serie A lead after a 4-0 hammering of Torino on Sunday.

Victor Osimhen's brace came alongside goals for Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Tanguy Ndombele that sent Napoli 21 points clear at the Serie A summit after a dominant performance in Turin.

Inter could cut that significant advantage when they host Juventus later on Sunday, although the Partenopei are within touching distance of their first Scudetto since 1990.

Spalletti continues to be impressed by Napoli's fight and refusal to let their march towards the title stall, embodying the hunger and pride of the Partenopei support.

The Napoli coach told DAZN: "It's the umpteenth time that I go to talk to the boys before a game, having the feeling that there can be satisfaction, and it's the umpteenth time that they respond by showing they're made of different stuff.

"They want to be someone who shows what it means to those who wear the Napoli shirt, who is hungry and does not sleep, it is a Neapolitan saying, and it is true."

Osimhen continued his fine form after taking his tally to 21 league goals this season, equalling Samuel Eto'o's mark in the 2010-11 campaign as Africa's top scorer in a single Serie A term.

The Nigeria international joined Edinson Cavani, Gonzalo Higuain and Dries Mertens as the only Napoli players to score 20 or more league goals in a single campaign during Aurelio De Laurentiis' ownership.

Kvaratskhelia also reached double figures for goals and assists in his maiden campaign in one of Europe's top-five leagues – Werder Bremen's Diego was the last to do so in the 2006-07 term.

However, Spalletti insists Napoli are far from reliant on just those two stars.

"On the third goal, Kvara's backheel and Mathias Olivera's cross stand out, and Osimhen's header," he added.

"But look at what Giovanni Di Lorenzo does: he makes a thirty-metre run for a one-two and carries the ball to the left to allow there to be a wide area in which to develop the action.

"It's not that Napoli is limited to two players, it is extended to all the members of the team. Di Lorenzo he played a remarkable match, he is a champion."

Osimhen echoed his coach's sentiment as Napoli aim to repay their supporters with a long-awaited Scudetto.

"The hopes of the fans are ours too, they have been waiting for a long time," the striker told DAZN.

"We are happy to be on the right path to win this prestigious trophy, we must continue like this."

Victor Osimhen hit a brace as Napoli's march to the Serie A title continued with a 4-0 victory at Torino.

The Senegal striker fired in either half at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino to send Napoli 21 points clear at the top, although second-placed Inter host Juventus later on Sunday.

After Osimhen opened the scoring in the early exchanges, the Partenopei soon had control as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia scored from the penalty spot.

Any hope of a Torino comeback was wiped away soon after the interval, Osimhen netting again before Tanguy Ndombele added another to keep Napoli on course for the crown.

It took just nine minutes for Napoli to take the lead, Osimhen meeting Piotr Zielinski's corner and heading a controlled finish into the far corner of Vanja Milinkovic-Savic's net. 

The hosts would not be silenced though, Alex Meret denying a fierce Samuele Ricci drive before Nikola Vlasic poked the rebound onto the post from close range. 

Napoli doubled their lead 10 minutes before the break as Kvaratskhelia slotted a penalty straight down the middle after being felled by Karol Linetty. 

Osimhen struck a drilled effort from outside the box that required a diving save from Milinkovic-Savic, with Luciano Spalletti's visitors threatening to run rampant before the break.

Napoli struck again after 51 minutes as Kvaratskhelia's inventive flick found Mathias Olivera, who lofted an inviting left-wing cross for Osimhen to tuck home.

Kvaratskhelia capped a fine individual display in the 68th minute, unselfishly teeing up substitute Ndombele to poke under Milinkovic-Savic and wrap up a commanding win.

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."

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