Beating Juventus a step too far for Napoli – Ancelotti

Napoli may have been one of Juventus’ main rivals for the Serie A title in recent seasons but Carlo Ancelotti says overtaking the Bianconeri is still a step too far for the Partenopei.

Napoli finished in the top-three under Maurizio Sarri in each of the past three campaigns, ending as runners-up to Juve on two occasions.

Ancelotti replaced Chelsea-bound Sarri ahead of the 2018-19 season and has maintained their position as Juve’s nearest competitors, however they still trail the league leaders by eight points after 17 matches.

And while usurping Italy’s dominant side is a target, Ancelotti does not believe they are ready yet to go one better than Juve, who have won the last seven Scudetti.

“I think each of us must motivate ourselves not measuring ourselves against others, but measuring against ourselves,” he told the Corriere della Sera.

“If you want to become [Leo] Messi then your path is influenced by genetics. But you can train every day to be better.

“It’s the same when it comes to the squad. If I say that we have to commit ourselves to beating Juve it’s an objective that’s too far away.

“I’m here to win. The objective is to have a team which fights until the end of the season.”

The former Real Madrid coach also admitted a second stint at AC Milan almost materialised after his departure from Bayern Munich last season – the Rossoneri eventually opting for Gennaro Gattuso.

Gennaro Gattuso Milan coach

“Twice,” he responded when asked if he had been close to returning to San Siro.

“When I left Real Madrid [Adriano] Galliani came hunting, but I had to recover from a back problem.

“Then another time with [Marco] Fassone there was half an approach after I left Bayern.”

Napoli are back in action on Boxing Day when they take on third-placed Inter a crucial match in the race to secure a top-four finish.

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