Former Napoli midfielder Andrea Dossena underscored the importance of tonight’s match between Lazio and the Partenopei in the top four race.

Speaking in an interview with Italian media outlet La Lazio Siamo Noi earlier today, the 39-year-old Italian looked ahead to this evening’s match.

It will certainly be an open game, both sides need little or no draw. They need the three points and both impose their football. Napoli are looking more for the passing attack, while Lazio are a bit more vertical.

There are all the ingredients for a great game. At the start the two teams will be a bit closed in, and whoever concedes a goal is forced to get off balance. In the first few minutes we might see them a little contracted, but I’m pretty sure we’ll enjoy a good game.

Napoli started well, then they had a period in which they lost points. Under the physical aspect, the athleticism, they must try to improve. Gattuso probably should have handled them in a different way. So, I think this drop is only the result of the high number of injuries.

The former Palermo man then touched on the race for Champions League qualification this season.

As far as the top four are concerned, Inter are now gone. Atalanta deserves to be in there because of the work of Gasperini and the club. Milan are the surprise of this year, they didn’t have the potential of the top four.

Now, with six points ahead of fifth place and with seven games to go, unless there is a final collapse, they should be in. I hope that the other place will be Napoli’s, but Lazio and Juventus will also be in the running until the end.

In terms of merits, perhaps Juventus are the ones who least deserve this fourth place. Both for the way they started the year and in terms of organisation. They chose the coach within a week, they dismissed a coach who had just won the Scudetto.

The performance mirrors the mistakes that were made in terms of planning. Lazio and Napoli have been on and off. Excellent performances and then, when the leap in quality was expected, they disappointed.

Both have had periods of major injuries. Perhaps Napoli have been penalized a little more. In the game, moments can be in your favour, in the season meritocracy comes out.

Dossena commented on the fact that both Simone Inzaghi and Gennaro Gattuso currently hold uncertain positions in their respective clubs.

If I were the two presidents, I would keep them close. I think there are far fewer problems for Inzaghi at Lazio than for Gattuso at Napoli with the problems of the last few months. Inzaghi probably deserves a higher place, even if Lazio is an important club that always finishes in the top six in Italy.

Unless a big club calls me, I’ll stay where I am. Also, because I have the trust of the club, I’ve done well, I have credibility. As for Gattuso, I don’t think there is a better coach. For Napoli and his city.

The former Napoli midfielder touched on the recent controversy surrounding the collapsed Super League project.

What surprises me the most is how such big teams, which move billions, can do something like this and after 48 hours go back on their word. It seems very amateurish to me.

Agnelli has put all his eggs in the wrong basket and I don’t know what the repercussions will be. It really was a farce. You can’t, as president of such an important team, go out with a bombshell like that and after 48 hours say ‘sorry, we made a mistake’. It’s madness.

He spoke about if Napoli regret failing to sign local boy and now Lazio star Ciro Immobile.

The years in which Ciro was a boy coincided with the dark years of the club, of bankruptcy. But even now it seems to me that Napoli do not look much at the youth sector. If you don’t invest in the catchment area, which is practically huge.

The club could benefit so much, you can’t count the players born in the hinterland of Naples. You can see that the club applies other strategies. Maybe there has been a call, the sirens that have brought Ciro closer to Napoli.

The real Ciro Immobile exploded with Lazio, and once this happens, going to Lotito to negotiate is not in the ideas, the logic of Napoli. Before his arrival in Rome, he could have been a solution, but before he arrived at Lazio, we couldn’t even think that he would have reached these levels, at these figures.

Finally, Dossena gave a close comment about Diego Maradona.

Hearing the San Paolo now called Diego Armando Maradona has a certain effect, I think we should remember him in the structure, in the locker room, in the tunnel.

It’s right to remember someone who has made his mark on the history of Napoli in this way. Then, logically, when the players go out onto the pitch, they have so much adrenaline, so much concentration on the things you do, that you can’t be conditioned by external factors.


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