Napoli managed to defeat Juventus on penalties and win the Super Cup. This was their first success in the competition since 1990 and Rafa Benitez failed this victory over Juventus as the best moment of 2014.
Napoli came back from death twice in the match. Carlos Tevez gave the lead after just five minutes before Gonzalo Higuain equalised in the 68th minute. Just when it seemed that Tevez had provided enough to seal victory after a goal in extra time, Higuain stepped up once again to secure an equaliser – for the second time in the match – in the 118th minute.
Mario Balotelli’s disastrous start of his career as a player of Liverpool has even linked the Italian attacker to a move away from the Premier League club even though it has been less than a year since Balotelli joined Liverpool; he is already being rumored to be on his way out of Liverpool.
Napoli boss Rafa Benitez has been under intense pressure at the start of the season after his failure to get the club into the Champions League for the first time in a few years. The team failed to the last hurdle in the qualifying stage. Even though it is well acknowledged that Napoli had a tough draw, many expected them to reach the stages of the prestigious European tournament. It would have given them access to more than £ 30 million in additional revenue. As it is, they will be playing in the group stages of the Europa league.
Rafa Benitez almost guided Napoli to an automatic Champions League spots last season after the club finished third in the table. However, the summer and the start of the season has been of huge pressure for the Spaniard, who has not only seen his team get knocked out of the qualifying stage of the Champions League but also suffer with poor form in the league. This has begun rumours that Benitez would be departing Napoli in the next few weeks. The Spaniard has been linked with a return to the Premier League with Newcastle being interested in his services.
Newcastle United is ready to pay the transfer fee of 15 million Pounds demanded by the Ligue 1 club Lyon for the French forward Alexandre Lacazette.
The Magpies will now have to hold personal talks with the player to agree terms with him as far as salary and the other perks are concerned.
Lacazette will have the company of a lot of his compatriots at St. James Park if he decides to go there.
Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has ruled out the possibility of Pepe Reina rejoining Napoli, but this time on a permanent basis, in the summer transfer window. The Spaniard spent last season on loan at the Italian club after losing his first-team spot to Simon Mignolet. The Belgian goalkeeper still reigns supreme at Anfield, which is unlikely to allow Reina back into the first-team for the coming season. He is widely expected to be on his way out. Barcelona were rumoured as one of the possible destinations for the 32-year-old, but the Catalan club signed other transfer targets.
Napoli goalkeeper Rafael Cabral is once again expected to become the number one goalkeeper at the club after the departure of Pepe Reina. The Liverpool goalkeeper has returned to his parent club after a season long loan deal with the Italian outfit came to an end. Throughout the season, Reina was the first choice when it came to league matches while the 24-year-old, Cabral, was used as the cup goalkeeper. However, Cabral’s season suffered a turn for the worst after he was ruled out for four months with a broken leg.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has stated that Tottenham should consider appointing former Liverpool and Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez, who he thinks will be a great appointment for the club given that he has incredible experience of the Premier league. Benitez is currently managing Italian outfit Napoli, but the first season at his new club does not seem to have gone according to plan. As a result, there have been suggestions that he may leave the club in the summer. He has also expressed interest in the Tottenham job in the past.