Sacchi lauds 'spectacular' Napoli and 'genius' Spalletti: 'Like my unbeatable Milan'

The great Arrigo Sacchi is in awe of "genius" Luciano Spalletti's Napoli team, comparing them to his Milan side and Pep Guardiola's Barcelona.

Sacchi's Rossoneri were widely considered one of the greatest club teams of all time, but the coach sees similarities in Napoli's class of 2022-23.

The Partenopei are unbeaten through 12 matches in Serie A, opening up a five-point gap at the top already as they chase a first Scudetto since Diego Maradona's time at the club.

In the Champions League, Napoli have five wins from five, including remarkable 4-1 and 6-1 defeats of Liverpool and Ajax respectively.

Sacchi, in an interview with Il Mattino, suggested a run to the semi-finals should be "the minimum goal" for this season, while he is backing them for domestic success.

His praise went further, too, as he said: "This Napoli are spectacular and a team one step away from legend.

"They are in the wake of the greats of the past, [Rinus] Michels' Ajax, Guardiola's Barcelona and my unbeatable Milan.

"I never get tired of watching them play. How could I? There is style, there is pride, there is a spirit of belonging, there is beauty, and there is a coach who has put ideas at the centre of everything.

"In a country where we only look for profit, Spalletti focuses on merit, on strategy, and not on tactics."

Among teams in Europe's top five leagues, Napoli have won the joint-most matches in all competitions (15 – also Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain) and have the outright best winning percentage (88.2).

Only Bayern (69) and PSG (54) have netted more goals (50 for Napoli), while the Bundesliga giants are the sole side averaging more goals per game (3.45 vs 2.94).

Napoli
Napoli

Napoli's early season success is all the more impressive given the number of stalwart stars who left the club ahead of the campaign.

Kalidou Koulibaly and Fabian Ruiz were sold for significant fees, while greats Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne moved on at the end of their contracts.

But Napoli invested superbly, signing Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Kim Min-jae and a host of impressive loan recruits.

"It's a lesson for everyone: ideas are worth more than money," Sacchi continued.

"What [owner Aurelio] De Laurentiis did this summer is something extraordinary: he took semi-unknowns and put them in a project where there was a vision, which many clubs lack.

"And the rest was done by the genius of Luciano."