Despite putting a great effort in their last game of the UEFA Champions League, it wasn’t enough and Napoli will have to settle with the consolation prize.
Following their heartbreaking elimination from the Champions League despite defeating Arsenal, the Serie A outfit couldn’t clinch a berth in the Round of 16. And after ending in third place of Group F they will have to focus on playing in the UEFA Europa League next year.
While it’s clear that it wasn’t what the fans or the players wanted, the fact of playing in Europe’s second biggest tournament could end up being a blessing in disguise for the San Paolo outfit.
Without a doubt, Napoli will have one of the strongest squads in the UEFA Europa League. The team features players like Pepe Reina, Marek Hamsik and Gonzalo Higuaín, all of them being able to make a difference in the European stage. They will have some tough competition for sure – teams like Tottenham Hotspur, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia and Juventus will all take part in the tournament – but their quality should be enough to make them advance a few rounds at least.
Napoli already showed they can compete with the best after giving a lot of fight to Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund, two of the best teams in the world. Considering they will have to face lesser squads in the Europa League, it’s safe to say that they can be considered candidates to make a push for the tournament until its final stages.