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Luciano Spalletti sees no reason why Napoli’s remarkable campaign has to be their peak as he urged the team to make every season a “once-in-a-lifetime year”.
Napoli face Torino in Turin on Sunday in what is their final match of the month, with the upcoming international window providing a brief break to the domestic season.
If results elsewhere go their way and they beat Torino, Napoli could head into the break with a 21-point lead at the Serie A summit, a surely insurmountable gap with only 11 matches to go.
Either way, the Partenopei are enjoying a sensational season, with their relentless surge for a first Scudetto in 33 years coupled with progression to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time.
But rather than focusing on what they are achieving, Spalletti can see their potential and hopes to inspire a quest for non-stop improvement.
“The once-in-a-lifetime year, as far as I’m concerned, will be the one after this, and then it will be the one after that, and it can go on and on,” he told reporters.
“What happens to us now is real and must always be used to improve.
“The best is always what you want to go and discover. You must never stop, you must dig deeper to get the most out of something.”
At 64, Spalletti is something of a stalwart of management in Italian football, having coached Udinese, Roma, Inter and now Napoli, among others, in Serie A.
If he does guide Napoli to the title, it will be his first league crown in Italy – even in the lower divisions, with Empoli, he did not win a championship, attaining back-to-back promotions by other means.
Nevertheless, Spalletti recognises the significance of his previous experiences and is now driven by a desire to make the most of the time he has left in the game.
“I try to optimise the time that passes, because one day we will be judged for the professionalism and seriousness shown in dealing with everything,” he added.
“I know that I have to value all the opportunities that pass before me, because as a coach I don’t have a lot of time, what with being 64 years old.
“And I am willing to do anything for Napoli to be able to enhance the events ahead of us.”