Napoli beat its twinned club Genoa 2-0 at the Stadio San Paolo on Friday night.
Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski opened the scoring for the partenopei in the 50th minute. Zielinski slotted in his goal when the ball came loose in the box, hitting it first-time past a diving Eugenio Lamanna into the bottom right-corner of the net.
Zielinski continues to impress in Napoli’s midfield and proves to be important to its success. The player spoke to Radio Kiss Kiss Italia after the match.
The midfielder said Genoa defended Napoli well and made things difficult, but he was happy with the team’s second half performance.
“In the first half, Genoa marked us well, man-to-man across the board. It was not easy, but we were still able to create a couple of chances. Then in the second half, the ball finally went in. We are happy with the performance.”
Zielinski’s third of the season was hit with his left-foot, so the radio station asked him if he has a preference.
“I feel good with both feet. The ball arrived at my feet well, I didn’t think twice. I was convinced to take a good shot; it went in. I’m happy.”
Radio Kiss Kiss Italia brought up the point that the Napoli players who play less, really stepped up and responded greatly. Zielinski added that each player’s contribution is important to the team’s success.
“Of course, everyone gave their contributions. [Their contribution] is crucial. They all played very well, even Allan and Leonardo Pavoletti [who came on off the bench.]”
Napoli will face Real Madrid away in Spain next week. The much-anticipated clash will be the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
Zielinski acknowledged that Real Madrid is a historic club and one that he rooted for when he was younger in an interview with Sky Sport. However, the 22 year-old said he knows that his team can do well against the European champions.
“We are also a great team and we have champions, we can play against them. We have to attack their area a bit more, so we can score more goals.”
“There are so many champions there [at Real Madrid.] Frankly, I was a Real Madrid fan. [Zinedine] Zidane was my childhood idol. It will be a great honor to see him. But, this does not interest me; we will go there to play against Real Madrid.”
“We are a great team and we have to do well there. It’ll be the first time that I go there, it’s definitely a dream. I was a fan of Real; I watched every game and it will be a great emotion.”