The Italian Renaissance has been ignited in Naples by a ruthless Spanish perfectionist.
Looked upon as an outcast, a caricature that enraged the Stamford Bridge faithful, Rafael Benitez endured a difficult start at Chelsea but through perseverance and tactical adjustments, he managed to salvage the London side's season by delivering silverware in the form of the Europa League.
This achievement helped propel the former Liverpool manager into contention for one of the most attractive jobs on the market. After the bitter aftermath of seeing Walter Mazzari leave the club only to join Milanese rivals Inter, the vacancy at Napoli had opened and it was Benitez who shot to the front of unpredictable owner Aurelio De Laurentiis' list of potential managerial candidates.
After being appointed the new boss he stamped his authority on the Neapolitan side by signalling his intent, capturing the signatures of PSV's Dries Mertens, Liverpool's Pepe Reina , along with Real Madrid trio Raul Albiol, Jose Callejon and Gonzalo Higuain to the delight of the fans.
This is seen as a move that is most welcome after witnessing the dominance of Antonio Conte's Juventus in recent years. The need for competition is vital for the reputation, growth and marketability of the league collectively with AC and Inter Milan's financial liabilities restraining them after years of frivolous and reckless spending.
The potency of the threat the Partenopei pose to Juventus's Scudetto crown heavily rests on the shoulders of their sensational Slovak playmaker Marek Hamsik, who's influential affect on the side sparks immense creativity in the final third of the pitch. Another deciding factor will be Higuain's goal contribution and if he will adequately fill the gaping void left by the departure of the deadly Edinson Cavani who left for PSG in the summer.
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