Napoli will have to “climb Everest” if they are to overcome Barcelona in their Champions League last-16 tie this weekend, says Gennaro Gattuso.
Following a 1-1 draw in Italy earlier in February, Barca has a small edge thanks to the away-goals rule ahead of Saturday’s return match at Camp Nou.
After the restart, the Blaugrana have been inconsistent – they have lost a two-point advantage in LaLiga to finish five adrift of eventual Real Madrid champions – resulting in uncertainty about the future of head coach Quique Setien.
However, Napoli manager Gattuso still finds overcoming Barca to be one of the hardest obstacles his squad will face in reaching the quarter-finals in Lisbon.
“They are used to winning and I know you still want to compete when you get used to winning. We have to reach Everest tomorrow,’ said Gattuso on Friday.
“I’ve heard a lot of jokes over the last few months, like ‘Barcelona is not over shape,’ but if you go and watch them there are certain players who put on a show.
“We know that’s going to be a really tough match for us. We know what kind of squad is waiting for us and we know we’re going to have to succeed enormously, both physically so tactically, and maybe it won’t even be enough.