Luciano Spalletti believes Diego Maradona will be looking down on his previous two clubs and is hopeful that Napoli beat Barcelona on Thursday.
In the Europa League qualifiers, Partenopei will face Barca at home and away next week.
The Blaugrana entered the second UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2003-04 following their exit from the Champions League at the start of a difficult season.
The Catalan team has recovered a bit under Xavi, however, and introduced a big Napoli Spalletti test, third in Serie A. But the match – played only in the last 16 of the 2019-20 Champions League final – will always be more closely associated with Maradona than any modern star.
The Argentine midfielder moved to Napoli after two years with Barca in the 1980s, enjoying his best season of seven seasons in Italy.
Double league champion with Napoli, Spalletti suggested on the night before the game that the late Maradona could favor his club.
Asked about injury problems at both venues, the Napoli coach said: “I don’t think there will be any damage to the player’s absence.
“Two teams are armed in such a way that the absence of one player and the presence of another does not make a difference.
“Someone can make a difference, but you will watch this game from heaven.
“I’m talking about Maradona, who will first try to be ‘good’, but I’m sure he will take over and enjoy Napoli.”