Soccer fans and experts are getting a little ahead of themselves.
With the Italian giants playing in the first leg of their first leg in their Champions League semifinal on Wednesday, they are looking ahead to the first ever appearance of Alessandro “Alesso” Diamanti.
“We are looking forward to this game because Napoli are the most important team in Serie A, a team that can win it all,” Napoli coach Antonio Conte said.
“They are one of the few teams that can get this game going in the last 30 minutes.
They are one that can dominate a game.”
Diamantati, a versatile midfielder, is the type of player who can win the ball and find space in the attacking third.
He’s a quick and technically gifted player with a very quick dribble.
He is also good at dribbling into space and finding teammates, both in the box and behind the back line.
He plays a unique style of football in Italy, one that combines physicality and creativity.
“It’s the type that suits me,” Diamati said.
“The ball is in my hands a lot.
It’s a little bit like a football.
I like the physicality of it.
You can’t take your eyes off the ball.”
Dia Milano/Associated Press/Associated ImagesDiamanti scored six goals and added four assists in the Serie A playoffs last season, including a hat trick against Lazio in the semifinals of the Champions League.
Napoli will be without center back Gennaro Gattuso and goalkeeper Federico Conti.
Diamani, a Napoli defender since 2014, was a key part of the team that won the Champions Cup and reached the semifinals in Italy’s last major tournament.
“He is a player that has a lot of qualities,” Conte added.
“He’s a player who plays with intensity, he’s a very good leader.
He scores goals.
He always wants to do well.
He has that attitude.
I think that’s the key, I think he can do a lot for the team.”
The game against Napoli could come down to whether or not the Napoli forward can continue to dominate the play.
The club’s first-round match with Juventus was an entertaining affair that featured plenty of chances for Napoli.
Dias is not the only one capable of winning the ball back in this game.
“Diamante is a very clever player, but he’s not one who can get forward,” Contes said.
Diamati scored in the second leg of the semifinal, too, against Lazioti.
He added another goal in the semifinally to his already impressive tally.
The Italian midfielder is currently fourth on the Serie B scoring list with 17 goals.