Walter Mazzarri heaps praise on Napoli after Coppa Italia win
Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri describes beating Juventus and winning the Coppa Italia as "the icing on the cake"
Walter Mazzarri heaped praise on his players after Napoli ended their 22-year wait for silverware with a 2-0 victory over Serie A champions Juventus in the Coppa Italia final on Sunday night.
Edinson Cavani opened the scoring in the 62nd minute from the penalty spot, his 33rd strike of the season, and a trademark counter-attack saw midfielder Marek Hamsík seal victory at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Napoli’s season had promised so much, with Mazzarri’s side leading Chelsea 3-1 on aggregate heading into the second leg of their last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge, before the Blues mounted a remarkable comeback to knock out the Serie A outfit after extra-time.
Napoli’s domestic form subsequently suffered a dip, and the Coppa Italia winners were unable to secure the final Champions League qualifying spot – but Mazzarri insisted their cup success was the perfect end to the campaign.
“It has been a crescendo to our season,” said Mazzarri. “It’s been great and stimulating.
“First of all, allow me to thank the main authors of all this: my players, who have remained with me since my arrival three years ago and who gave me a lot of satisfaction.
“When I’m praised it’s only thanks to them because a coach can surely have good ideas, but he cannot do much if the players don’t follow him.
“So a big thanks to them, who are the authors of our growth and the great improvement we have made in such a short time.
“The Coppa Italia win is the finale of a great three years together and we can consider it the icing on our cake we made together.”
Meanwhile, Juventus manager Antonio Conte was disappointed to see his side suffer their first defeat of the season – the Turin outfit claimed their 28th Serie A title without suffering a single loss.
“We were beaten so we cannot be pleased, even if it was a great season,” said Conte.
“I don’t like to lose and I don’t think anyone here at Juventus should like to lose – not the players, the club, anyone.
“Let’s try to learn something from this defeat and look ahead. Even if this season we were great and not losing a single match until the Coppa Italia final.”