Rafa Benítez in Cadena COPE

07/11/2013COPE/rafabenitez.com

Cadena COPE, a Spanish radio station has broadcast a special live program from Castelcvolturno featuring Rafa Benitez, Gonzalo Higuain, Pepe Reina, Jose Callejon and Raul Albiol, protagonists of the second-placed Napoli in Italy’s Serie A and first in the Champions League ' group of death '.

Benitez: "nobody wants to challenge the legacy of Maradona: he's a legend here, we are trying to win and be part of the club's history. If Maradona says he wants to coach Napoli in the future this means that is an attractive club to everyone. In the Champions League we have the chance to get 12 points and which still may not be sufficient, because even with this number of points we still may not qualify".

Why Higuain?

We bought him because we were looking for a smart, high-quality striker, someone who knows what he must do in the middle of the field and the personal references about him were very positive. A coach of who I can´t say his name, insisted on me to taking him and I have to thank him, because it was a success. If I had been the coach of Real Madrid, I would never have sold him because he has a lot of quality. In addition, Higuain never hesitated before signing - the President got him right away.

Why Callejon?

Jose works a lot, makes goals and is also important in the defensive phase. All the references on him were very positive, I bet on him and I'm winning. I couldn't give up on him, could go bad otherwise. I know that Vicente Del Bosque is following him and if he continues in this way I think he may be called up by the Spanish national team.

Del Bosque?

I never found it poor: my relationship with him is stunning (excellent), it was normal that there was some tension when we were at Valencia and Real Madrid and we both had to win.

Why Albiol?

I met him a little earlier at Valencia, he debuted with us. As a central defender he is very reliable - the quiet leader of the defense. Raul delivers security and peace of mind.

Why Reina?

We did not expect to sign him because Pepe was not on the market. When Riccardo Bigon told me he was available, we didn't know anything neither he nor I but when there was an opportunity we immediately seized upon it. Pepe knows how to play the ball with his feet, makes many jokes and creates a good atmosphere in the dressing room.

Why Naples - despite having other offers?

Before signing with Napoli I had other options: President Aurelio De Laurentiis arrived in London and I said what I thought was needed. We analysed the potential of the team, to improve and we came to the conclusion that the project was interesting. The players are happy as you can see in the workplace".