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Napoli almost obsessed with beating Juventus to title, says Albiol

Raul Albiol believes Napoli are in precisely the position they wanted to be in their quest to win a first Serie A title since 1990.

NEWS
News 30 Mar 2018, 15:40 IST
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raul albiol - cropped
Napoli defender Raul Albiol

Napoli are "almost obsessed" with defeating Juventus in the race for the Serie A title, according to defender Raul Albiol.

Maurizio Sarri's side are two points behind the champions at the top of the table with nine matches of the season left to play.

The points gap means the clash between the teams in Turin on April 22 could well be a pivotal moment in Napoli's quest to win a first Scudetto since the 1989-90 campaign.

And Albiol admits the entire squad are desperate to end that long wait for success, telling Marca: "Everyone has dreamed of winning the league.

"We are almost obsessed with achieving it, we don't think about anything else, but it's normal to want to do something big and to see a whole city happy. It's crazy when you come here and see the love Naples has for the team and for football."

Albiol says his side are where they had hoped to be at this stage of the season as they aim to stop "the most powerful club in Italy" from winning a seventh domestic title in a row.

"Our goal at the beginning of the season was to get to the last 10 games with chances of winning the league," he said. "After six seasons, it was time to change things.

"In other years, Juve have already had a huge advantage over the rest at this point. This time, it's in our hands, and that's important.

"Juve are historically and economically the strongest team in Italy. They have more than 30 Scudetti, the last six in a row, they've played nine Champions League finals, two in the last three seasons, and every year they sign players worth €30-40million or more.

"This summer, Douglas Costa, [Federico] Bernardeschi and [Blaise] Matuidi went; two years ago, [Gonzalo] Higuain and [Miralem] Pjanic.

"We try to level things in another way. We wanted to compete against the most powerful club in Italy and we're doing it."

Napoli have won widespread acclaim for their style of football under Sarri but Albiol thinks they play in the only way that suits the players they have.

"We feel comfortable with our way of playing. Some people will like it and some won't, but we enjoy having the ball and attacking," added the 32-year-old.

"We can't defend in our own area because we have a team of little players, technicians.

"The quality of our team is to have the ball, attack and get into the opponents' half. We've enjoyed many years because his [Sarri's] style is perfect for the players we have."

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