Champions League Format Is Wrong Claims Napoli President

Date: 27th September 2011 at 4:15pm
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Ahead of tonight’s Champions League clash against Villarreal, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis spoke to Il Corriere dello Sport about his hopes for the season and how he would change European football.

“I’d like us to still be in the running for the Champions League in March,” he said. “We took the time we needed to get to this point, four years ago we had a taste of it with the Intertoto. However, I don’t like the Champions League the way it is now. They have to create a tournament where six or seven Italian teams can play and six or seven German teams.

“I don’t just want to oppose [Uefa president Michel] Platini, but we have to be careful for technological advances. If I had the control, I’d organise leagues with 16 teams, and create European tournaments with 40 teams.

“In Italy we don’t know how to sell our products. In my view we aren’t competitive for many reasons. Before creating new stadiums we need make a law that only allows certain people to enter, not those who try to hit players, like it happened to [Bologna’s Marco] Di Vaio.”

On tonight’s match, De Laurentiis said: “Tonight we are facing a good team, but I hope Napoli will win. After the draw in Manchester, winning would give us a big boost in confidence. [Marek] Hamsik, [Ezequiel] Lavezzi, and [Edinson] Cavani are champions. I’d add [Lionel] Messi, but it’s more important that someone fits into our playing system.

“There are many good coaches in our country, but if I had to get a foreign coach it’d be [Chelsea’s Andre] Villas Boas.”

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This article was originally posted by Danilo Pochini


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