Originally published in la Gazzetta dello Sport
Every week Football Italiano brings you a translation of one of la Gazzetta dello Sport’s interviews with a major name from the world of Italian football. This time it is the turn of Napoli goalkeeper Gennaro Iezzo…
CASTELVOLTURNO. He is a big reason why Napoli are in fourth position. There are some amazing saves, like the one against Giacomo Tedesco last Sunday, and many more that have emphasised his talent, to the extent of gaining Marcello Lippi’s compliments. For four seasons Gennaro Iezzo has been the first-team goalkeeper, one of the protagonists of the climb from Serie C to Serie A. “I don’t know for how long I will be playing for Napoli, but before I go away I would like to lift an important trophy”.
Coppa Italia would be available… “Indeed, and it’s a goal that shouldn’t be neglected as often happens. This Napoli has the power to go all the way to the end”.
First though there’s the championship, the first round of matches to come to a close on Sunday against Chievo in Verona: do you forecast an easy win? “Hold on gentlemen. Even if we are playing against the teams at the bottom, the match will be insidious and tense”.
Also because Napoli away from the San Paolo keep on disappointing, four defeats in four away from home: what is the problem in your opinion? “We need to have more trust in our means, to show the strength that made us unbeatable in Fuorigrotta (Ed. location of San Paolo). Obviously it would have been easier if we had had our fans with us. We miss their support a lot and I guarantee I’m not just making excuses”.
Lavezzi, Denis, Rinaudo talked about the Champions League in the last few days. They said they believe in this goal: what do you think? “I prefer to be more moderate, I don’t want to be idealistic. Europe is the dream for all of us. That’s why we need to stay humble until the last day. And the Tifosi need to be patient, they must support us. Booing Vitale for instance didn’t help this player who is still so young”.
Is this Napoli really at Champions League level? “Let’s talk about that again at the end of March. We are not at the same standard as Inter Milan or Juve, so let’s not get carried away. The club has precise plans which include Europe. By Europe I mean also the UEFA Cup”.
Don’t you think you need some extra players to hold onto fourth position until the end of the season? “If someone does come we would welcome him, otherwise we will go on like this because the team is already strong. Compared to last year we have improved a lot, even with some difficulties we have managed to prevail anyway”.