• Renard: ‘Sarri’s Napoli wonderful’

    By Football Italia

    Morocco Coach Hervé Renard calls Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli “wonderful” but admits “my favourite team is Juventus”.

    The Atlas Lions are going to the World Cup this summer, and the Bianconeri’s Medhi Benatia will be a key man in their defence.

    “I have a precise idea of football, but you need the right players to make it happen,” Renard explained to La Repubblica.

    “When I saw Sarri’s Napoli press high, win the ball back and play as they played, that is wonderful football.

    “I was bewitched by Sarri and in general I follow a lot of Italian football: my favourite team is Juventus.

    “[Michel] Platini, [Didier] Deschamps and [Zinédine] Zidane struck me. Every Frenchman is a little bit Juventino.

    “I love Juventus because I see [Giorgio] Chiellini, [Andrea] Barzagli and first of all [Gigi] Buffon motivated and motivating the others with their warrior spirit: that’s my ideal model.

    “They’re not the best individually, but together that’s what they’ve become.”

    The 49-year-old has spent much of his coaching career in Africa, and is well placed to dispel some misconceptions.

    “Black Africa, for example, has different characteristics to those of the Maghreb. In Europe Italy isn’t Sweden, is it?

    “One gets the impression that everything is poor, that there are no modern places. European prejudices are radical and often wrong.

    “In Morocco you have everything you can find in Europe. It’s a country which is developing really well, there’s high level infrastructure.

    “I could talk for hours about this but no-one would understand, because Europeans have a view of Africa that disturbs me.

    “There are too many clichés, it’s like saying that Naples is the Mafia and that’s it. You can’t claim that an entire continent isn’t civilised.”

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