Pandev and Mourinho while at Inter; photo: AP

Mourinho wants to face Pandev in Champions League Round of 16

“Before the game in Munich against Bayern, Mourihno texted me, clearly stating that he would love to face me and Napoli in the Champions League Round of 16.”

photo by AP: Pandev and Mourinho while at Inter


This is what Goran Pandev told Italian daily newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.  It’s not the first time that Josè Mourinho has contacted one of his former players at Inter as he usually does that to motivate the player.  Pandev surely needs the support since he has been in bad form for a while with very few goals over the past year.  Now, we shall see whether the words of Josè Mourinho will turn things around for Pandev.

“It was a tough game against Bayern.  They were crushing us in the first half, but after the break, everybody saw an improved Napoli.  We will play the crucial match against Manchester City at Stadio San Paolo on 22 November and I think we have a good chance, to get into the Round of 16.  We don’t have much experience in the Champions League, but our fans will provide extra motivation with their support.  I already told Kolarov to concentrate on the English Premier League…” – noted Pandev who seems confident that Napoli can advance from the group as he already poked his former teammate at Lazio and current Serbian international Aleksandar Kolarov who now plays for Man City.

Napoli next faces Juventus on Sunday at 20.45 CET in the derby of the 11th round in Italy.  However, Pandev is not expected to start the game as the attacking trio Lavezzi-Hamšík-Cavani will likely be preferred in Napoli’s 3-4-3 formation.  Just like in previous games, Pandev will be on the bench with a good chance of entering the game in the second half.

“Against Juve, I have scored twice while playing for Lazio.  First, in the season 2004/05 in Serie A and than in the Coppa Italia semi-finals in 2009 (when Lazio won the cup).”  Can Pandev score his third goal against Juve on Sunday?  It’s time for him to step up and display his true ability.

“If we beat Juventus, than we shall contend in the battle for the Scudetto.  Personally, I have not shown much at Napoli so far.  I really want to help the team, but sometimes time is needed to adjust to a new club.  Mazzari, the manager, knows that I’m still trying to get into top physical condition, but I came here to win trophies and provide joy to these fans.  Naples is a city that lives for its team and winning here would be very different than in Rome or Milan.”

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