Napoli dream of return to glory

MILAN - Napoli fans have suffered so much heartache since the scudetto years of Diego Maradona that it is easy for them to get carried away by their 14-match unbeaten run in Serie A.

MILAN - Napoli fans have suffered so much heartache since the scudetto years of Diego Maradona that it is easy for them to get carried away by their 14-match unbeaten run in Serie A.

Fourth spot on the table and the sniff of Champions League football just six years after bankruptcy and reformation in the third tier has Naples dreaming of even greater glory.

A win in tomorrow's home game with Genoa, a team with a similar recent history, would power Napoli up to joint second - for a day at least.

But coach Walter Mazzarri believes any thoughts of adding to their 1987 and 1990 championships must be put on the back burner for the next few seasons.

"What we do this year will serve as a base for next season," he said.

Mazzarri knows Napoli are a big club given the huge soccer passion of the population of Italy's third city, who even packed the San Paolo with crowds of 50000 in Serie C. Being bankrolled by film producer Aurelio de Laurentiis also helps.

They belong at the top table of Italian football and the recent woeful form of Juventus and Fiorentina has opened the door for a genuine tilt at Champions League qualification. - Reuters

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