Napoli are aware that their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League depend entirely on the team's ability to stop Lionel Messi.

The Argentine superstar regained his form in front of the net after missing the goal in his last four games, scoring four in Barcelona's triumph over Eibar on Saturday.

Therefore, Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso is evaluating tactical plans to create a "cage" to trap the six-time Golden Ball winner.

Gattuso, who replaced Carlo Ancelotti in December, is unlikely to achieve much in Serie A as his team ranks sixth with just 36 points.

For this reason, success in the Champions League would be welcomed by him.

"We have our chance," Gattuso said before the first round of the 1/8 final between Napoli and Barca on Tuesday.

Gattuso told Italian media that he wants to tame Messi, creating a prison for him in certain areas of the field, because that would stop him and create cases for Barcelona.

 

 

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Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has exalted Real Madrid by claiming the king of the Champions League, before the midweek duel between his squad and the 13-time European champion.

City will visit Santiago Bernabeu for their first match with Real in the 1/8 of the Champions League final on Wednesday, aware that they have yet to beat the Spanish giants in four attempts so far in the European competition.

Guardiola has plenty of experience in dealing with Real from his time as a player and then as coach of the conspiratorial rival, Barcelona, ​​so he is aware of the big task ahead of City.

"I have played for this club many times as a player and as a coach and I have always admired the history of this club," Guardiola said.

"I know how difficult it is to deal with the quality of these players. I don't know how many finals they played or how many times they won the trophy, "he added.

"We will try to do our best, knowing that we are playing against the king of this race," he said.

 

 

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It is now almost certain that the Europa League match between Inter and Ludogorets will take place behind closed doors on Thursday, due to fears of coronavirus infection.

This highly contagious disease is spreading rapidly across northern Italy, which has killed three people and infected over 200 others.

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has confirmed today that he will decide whether to cancel all weekend games in Serie A, while some regions such as Lombardy, Piemont, Veneto, Liguria, Friuli and Emilia-Romagna have suspended all public events including sports until midnight on March 1.

While it is being talked about rescheduling some matches, the same is not possible with the Europa League matches.

The only real possibility is for Inter to play without a viewer in the return match against Ludogorets at San Siro on Thursday night. The mayor of Milan is expected to come out with such an announcement this afternoon.

Inter won 2-0 in the first leg of the 32nd round last week in Bulgaria.

 

 

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The unstoppable Ciro Immobile towards the Serie A goal record

After 25 weeks in Serie A, thanks to the goal scored in Lazio's 2-3 win over Genoa, King Ciro has reached the quota of 27 goals in the league.

An extraordinary figure that allowed the Bomber Blue to equal Antonio Angelillo's record in the 1958-1959 away season (27 goals in the first 25 weeks).

Cristiano Ronaldo remains second with 6 goals less. Immobile need another 9 goals by the end of the season to equal El Pipita Higuain's record, scoring 36 goals in a season in Serie A.

By the end of the championship there are still 13 games to play, and Higuain's record looks perfectly accessible and even surpassed by Immobile.

Since the 2016-2017 season, Immobile has been able to score 94 goals with the Lazio shirt. A statistic that ranks the striker white only Lionel Messi (125 goals) and Robert Lewandowski (106 goals).

 

 

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Jurgen Klopp is not sure if his Liverpool is the best team in the football world right now, but admits it is among the best teams on the planet.

Liverpool will increase their lead to 22 points at the top of the Premier League table if they defeat West Ham tonight, underscoring an unprecedented dominance in the English elite league.

RB Leipzig striker - highly sought after in the European market - is the latest high-profile name to have described Liverpool as the best team in the world, but Klopp is not fully convinced that his team deserves this special name. .

"I really don't understand this 'the best team in the world' thing. It's great when people say it, but it's probably better than saying you have the worst team in the world, of course, ”Klopp said before meeting West Ham.

Klopp does not believe his Liverpool is the best team in the world

"Usually, when people mention 'the best team in the world', the mind goes to Real Madrid a couple of years ago, to Barcelona a couple of years ago, to Manchester City two years ago," he added.

"But I think for the whole world, Liverpool is one of the best clubs," he said.

 

 

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