Tue 10 January 2023 | 12:57

"I’m rooting for Napoli", says Fiorentina legend Batistuta

The iconic Argentine striker Gabriel Batistuta believes Napoli will win Serie A this season.

In an interview with DAZN Argentina, Batistuta who played for 12 years in the Serie A for Fiorentina,


and Inter spoke about Fiorentina, Roma, the Argentinian players at


, the title race in Italy, Messi, and his possible return to Italian football.

The iconic player first talked about his time with Fiorentina and said Florence is his second home.

“It was my second home, I arrived there when I was 22 and left when I was 31. With my wife I had three children there, and at one point I had more friends in Florence than in Argentina.

“Still today it is my home, I immediately understood the mentality of the Florentines and there was an immediate harmony.

“I had a great time, I was so sorry not to give the fans the Scudetto. I put my heart into it, together with my teammates, but we didn’t succeed.”

The Argentinian legend wnt on to say that he thinks


 will win Serie A this season. Luciano Spalletti’s side is seven points clear at the top of the table.

“In my opinion Napoli will win. I’m rooting for them, because I think they deserve it. They’ve been trying for seven or eight years, they came close but never succeeded. This year I see them more convinced. The lead is important, and I don’t think the others can catch the Azzurri.”

Batistuta discussed the situation of Jose Mourinho’s Roma this season.

“I watch them sometimes. The coach has brought enthusiasm back to the fans. My relationship with Roma is beautiful, we were a great team, and the fans still love me. There was a desire to win, which was very important, and the Lazio victory the year before gave us an extra push and helped us.

“I managed to get what I had been looking for for 10 years, I have great memories and I must say that the year we won the Scudetto we were struggling to leave home. The experience was beautiful.”

Italian football has recently lost legends Sinisa Mihajlovic and Gianluca Vialli due to cancer.

“I then wanted to honour Sinisa and Gianluca, two examples for many generations. Examples of desire, of struggle.

“They showed that you can do great things by always behaving well. We were never friends, but I always admired and respected them. I want to embrace their families.”

Batistuta admitted that he still loves Italy and he is ready for Italian football in the future.

“I love Italy, I must confess, I feel at home there. I did the coaching course, but I see myself more as a director and I take the opportunity to make an appeal. I think I’m prepared but I don’t need to take the first thing that comes my way. If a stimulating project comes along, I’ll say yes.”

The former Roma striker believes Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes can help Juventus in the second part of the season.

“They can give a lot now, as they could also have before the break, but injuries happen. Then there is speculation about the World Cup, there are those who say they didn’t give their all to preserve themselves, but injuries happen.”

Batistuta also was asked whether we can still compare Diego Maradona to Lionel Messi.

“That’s a good question. Those of my generation think that Maradona had something more, but because he was fighting for other things, for the Falklands war, for his charisma. He made a difference because of that.

“It’s normal for young people today to be crazy about Messi, he’s been playing at this level for 20 years. At the World Cup it was clear from day one that Argentina would win. Because of the atmosphere around Messi.”

source: SportMob

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