Carlo Ancelotti is not ruling Napoli out of the Serie A title race just yet but he accepts keeping pace with leaders Juventus would need “miracles”.
After 14 rounds of 2018-19, seven-time defending champions Juve are eight points clear of second-placed Napoli, having won 3-1 at Allianz Stadium when the two sides met in September.
That was one of two defeats for Ancelotti’s men this season, while Juve’s only blip came in a 1-1 home draw against Genoa in October, and the former Chelsea and AC Milan boss is under no illusions as to the size of the task facing his side.
“No [Juve are not uncatchable], they are very strong, very consistent, but unattainable, no,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“In my football experience I have not found unbeatable teams yet, [but] to keep up with Juventus, you have to work miracles.
“We do not know [what Napoli can achieve this season], I think this team has a lot of potential and showed it in the Champions League, which was very difficult.
“We have grown a lot in personality, because these games help us to grow, we are a team that cannot play at a low pace. To succeed we must always work at a high pace.”
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) December 5, 2018
In a managerial career which began in 1995, Ancelotti has only enjoyed one lengthy spell at one club – his eight-year reign with Milan delivering eight trophies, including a Scudetto and two Champions League crowns.
And the 59-year-old sees potential for a similarly long stint in Naples.
“I would really like it, maybe here there are features that are suitable for a similar project,” he said.
“I like many things in Naples…you wake up in the morning and you have this exciting photograph in front of you, then you have the Naples people, who are very helpful. I like the passion behind this team, passion and respect.
“I like going to the city, I go down the street, to restaurants and nobody has ever bothered me, they are very respectful. I like the atmosphere here, the environment. Naples welcomes, it does not reject.”
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