Napoli President Aurelio De
Laurentiis was keen to play up the vast financial gulf between
his club and Manchester City after his side's shock 2-1 win over
the big-spending Premiership outfit.
De Laurentiis pointed out Napoli's dilapidated San Paolo
stadium as an example of the difference between them and goaded
Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, saying
he regarded his club as a toy.
"Our success proves two things. The first is that perhaps
money isn't everything, as even with balanced books you can
still go far," De Laurentiis told reporters following Napoli's
Champions League win on Tuesday.
"The second is that this Napoli side has a strong fibre and
can give us great moments," added the flamboyant film producer
turned football club president.
One of Italy's 1990 World Cup venues, the San Paolo appears
to be stuck in a time-warp especially compared to modern venues
such as Bayern's Allianz Arena or City's own Etihad stadium.
A crumbling running track surrounds the pitch and there is
even a South American-style moat between the playing field and
Chaos reigns outside with hordes of scooters ignoring
traffic rules and cars double and triple-parking with the help
of self-appointed "parking attendants."
De Laurentiis said his team had cost around one sixth of the
amount of his opponents and admitted the stadium was in poor
"Our stadium is decrepit, but the problem is the recession,"
he said. "Here [in Italy], we are broke.
"It's not easy with the money we [Napoli] get from
television, we don't get enough, they don't distribute the money
He said that in stark contrast, Bayern Munich, another of
the teams in Group A, had spent 60 million euros on car parking alone.
"They generate income from that and that makes a big
difference," said De Laurentiis.
He then warned that Sheikh Mansour, who has poured money
into Manchester City, could easily get bored with the club if
they don't start winning.
"I think Mansour just wanted a toy," said De Laurentiis. "He
says that he doesn't want immediate success but if they don't
win something quickly, he could just go somewhere else and buy
Unlike City, who can happily rotate their team and still
field 11 international players, Napoli have only a handful of
options on the bench and field virtually the same starting
line-up in all games.
Having decided to concentrate on the Champions League,
Napoli are a modest seventh in Serie A and coach Walter Mazzarri
admitted he was not expecting much from their weekend match at
"You can't play at the same pace in the match following a
Champions League week and that's when we tend to drop points,"
Central defender fit enough to play in the Champions League final at Wembley
Bayern Munich unfazed by the need to be more clinical in attack against Borussia Dortmund
Ruud Gullit believes Bayern Munich are in for a shock when they take on Borussia Dortmund
Napoli president denies reports that he has named Rafael Benitez as club's new manager
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010