Barcelona's Cancelo wary of Osimhen, other Napoli stars ahead of crucial Champions League decider

Barcelona's Joao Cancelo and Napoli's Victor Osimhen | Imago

Barcelona's Cancelo wary of Osimhen, other Napoli stars ahead of crucial Champions League decider

Ayoola Kelechi 13:42 - 11.03.2024

Full-back Joao Cancelo has expressed caution ahead of Barcelona's upcoming tie with Victor Osimhen's Napoli side

Barcelona's Joao Cancelo has issued a warning to his teammates, emphasizing the need to be cautious of Napoli's star players, especially, but not limited to Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

As Barcelona prepares to face Napoli in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second-leg match, Cancelo acknowledges the exceptional talents possessed by the Partenopei.

Balanced First Leg Ends in a Draw

The first leg between Napoli and Barcelona, held at the Stadio Maradona in Naples, concluded in a 1-1 draw two weeks ago. Victor Osimhen, Napoli's prolific striker, canceled out Robert Lewandowski's opener, setting the stage for an intriguing second leg at the Estadi Olímpic Montjuic.

Both Napoli and Barcelona have encountered challenges in their respective campaigns, making the upcoming second leg a crucial fixture for both sides. With disappointments in their domestic seasons, the UEFA Champions League provides an opportunity for redemption and a positive turn of events.

Cancelo's Praise for Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia

Speaking about Napoli's attacking prowess, Cancelo specifically praised Victor Osimhen for his goal-scoring ability. Despite having limited chances in the first leg, Osimhen showcased his clinical finishing, highlighting him as one of the best strikers globally. Additionally, Cancelo acknowledged Khvicha Kvaratskhelia as another exceptional talent in Napoli's lineup.

"They are exceptional talents. Osimhen had a half-chance in the first leg but still found the net. He’s one of the best strikers in the world," remarked Cancelo.

Other Napoli Stars to Watch

Cancelo not only highlighted Osimhen but also praised the skills of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, labeling both as exceptional talents. He went on to mention Matteo Politano as another threat on the Napoli side. Despite facing challenges in their respective seasons, Napoli boasts a lineup of players capable of causing problems for Barcelona.

The former Manchester City and Inter star also pointed out the quality of Napoli's midfield, specifically mentioning Piotr Zielinski and Stanislav Lobotka. While Zielinski won't be on the UEFA list for the match, Cancelo recognised his abilities. Having faced Lobotka with Portugal, Cancelo praised him as a great player, highlighting Napoli's depth and strength in various positions.

As Barcelona braces for the decisive clash, Cancelo's words underscore the importance of respecting Napoli's formidable lineup, urging his teammates to stay alert and focused on the task at hand. The battle for a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals promises to be intense, with both sides eager to salvage positives from challenging campaigns.