Cannavaro Backs Napoli to Take Advantage of ‘Dream’ Milan Derby Result

Ballon d’Or winning defender Fabio Cannavaro spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Il Bianconero) and revealed his thoughts on a number of topics, including this season’s Scudetto race, Milan’s victory in Derby della Madonnina, Napoli forward Victor Osimhen and Juventus’ fortunes going forward.

The 2006 World Cup winner believes Luciano Spalletti-led Napoli, can chase the club’s first Scudetto in more than thirty years after Milan toppled league leaders Inter at the San Siro over the weekend – blowing the title race wide open.

“I didn’t like the derby at all. Inter controlled it but didn’t play well, then it relaxed a bit and Milan overturned with the blows from a champion like Giroud, but I didn’t like the teams. And also, thanks to the result, the championship is definitely open. If I were Spalletti, I would have the team review the derby to get excited. To understand that the differences are not many. And that you can chase them. It’s a dream,” Cannavaro declared.

He then drew attention to Nigerian striker Osimhen, who has emerged as one of Serie A’s most effective hitmen. Cannavaro believes Osimhen can grow leaps an bounds under the tutelage of veteran coach Spalletti.

Cannavaro explained: “He is a center forward of absolute international level. If he is well, it is like starting every game with a goal. And then I think that Spalletti is the most experienced and best manager in Serie A. I like how he plays Serie A. because he prefers to have several men who are good at moving between the lines, outsiders skilled in one-on-one, and then one like Osimhen who gives depth and substance to the maneuver with his physicality. All without losing solidity in the defensive phase and in fact boast the goal less beaten in the league. In addition, two very important players like Koulibaly and Anguissa are about to return and the team becomes even tougher. I’m happy for my city, and I think Napoli really has the numbers to aim for winning this championship.”

Dusan Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria dispatched Hellas Verona with goalscoring debuts in the 2-0 victory at Allianz Stadium to get off to a flying start at their new club. The duo’s addition to the ranks of the club has made the Bianconeri much stronger, says the legendary Italian center-back.

“Surely with the purchases on the market in January the team has strengthened a lot. I think Allegri’s group can now maintain an average standing at the least, but it will be hard to recover all the points of disadvantage to as many as four teams that precede them. The Bianconeri can however, become referees of the Scudetto. In the sense that Napoli and AC Milan have already faced their rivals in the return leg, drawing. While Inter will have to go to Turin in April and will face a stronger Juventus who will not be able to concede anything to center the Champions League,” he commented.

With the loss against Milan, Inter, who sit first in the league with 53 points, have allowed both the Rossoneri and Napoli to narrow the gap to just one point at the top of the table.

Inter still have a game in hand and their next Serie A outing to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona against Napoli will prove to be crucial in the race for their second consecutive Scudetto.