Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri does not want his club’s upturn in fortunes to end with 2011.
Mazzari’s men battled to a third-placed finish in the 2010/11 Serie A season, qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since the 1990/91 campaign. They then qualified for the knockout stages of the competition out of a group containing Manchester City, Villarreal and Bayern Munich.
Speaking on Saturday, Mazzarri could only praise his men for their effort and commitment, and said the year had progressed beyond his wildest dreams.
“An extraordinary year for us is coming to an end, third in the league, a Champions League place and then qualifying for the knockout rounds. We went beyond the most optimistic expectations. I can only thank the whole team,” he told reporters.
“The boys have shown great commitment and spirit. Whoever has been playing has given his all, especially in the dressing room.”
Asked what he was hoping to see in 2012, the coach wished for more of the same.
“I hope to continue in the same fashion as in 2011, to keep improving and giving more joy to our fans, both in the league and the Champions League,” he stated.
“Reaching the first knockout phase is already a great achievement, but our philosophy is to not give up on anything until the very end, and to always do our best.”
Mazzarri took over at Napoli in October 2009, leading the club to sixth place in Serie A during his first season at the club.