Napoli Players Incentivized to Make Late Top-Four Push

Reigning Serie A holders Napoli head to Stadio Giuseppe Meazza to take on Inter in Sunday’s must-win encounter. The stakes are high for Partenopei after a 3-1 loss at Barcelona on Tuesday crashed them out of the Champions League last-16.

A nightmarish result in Catalonia denied Napoli the privilege of participating in the Club World Cup next year. After losing around €50m in revenues for missing out on the new edition of the famous tournament, Aurelio De Laurentiis is desperate to motivate his squad the other way.

According to Il Mattino via TMW, the Napoli bigwig has offered his squad lucrative bonuses if they can haul back a 10-point deficit on fourth-placed Bologna down the final stretch. That’s the club’s last chance to qualify for the Champions League and maintain a profitable income stream.

But with only ten games left, that’s a huge ask. Despite De Laurentiis’ promise, a dramatic top-four race is out of Partenopei’s hands. Napoli must pray for the sides above them to drop a significant amount of points to close the distance.

That’s not to mention they barely have a margin for error as the season enters the business end. Halting a five-game losing run at Inter is imperative for Napoli. However, Simone Inzaghi’s men have only lost one league game this season, highlighting the size of the task awaiting the southern giants. 

Given the circumstances, De Laurentiis’ incentive might have come too little too late. Napoli still have ten matches to please their owner, though.

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