With about six weeks to go until Napoli have their Champions League playoff tie, it's starting to get to the time to kick season preparations in to high gear. We already know they have one top-notch friendly lined up, facing Barcelona on August 6th in Geneva. Now, according to the team's official website, they'll have another high-end friendly five days later, as they'll be taking on French champions Paris Saint-Germain on August 11th at the Stadio San Paolo.
The match is being put on by Napoli's primary sponsor, Acqua Lete, and will be called the Acqua Lete Cup. Presumably there will be some sort of fancy trophy given to the winner, and it seems as though this might turn in to a traditional curtain-raiser of sorts for the Napoli season.
It'll be a fascinating match for a number of reasons, not least of which include the return home of Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi, two beloved former partenopei players who were a huge part of getting the club to where it is today. It's certain that both players will be greeted warmly and with open arms by fans and former teammates alike (seeing them with Marek Hamsik might bring tears), and it will be amazing to see them on the pitch in Naples again.
The announcement came with the traditional "say happy things" quotes from both club's presidents,
"We are happy to face a tough and prestigious team like PSG in the Acqua Lete Cup held at the San Paolo stadium. We wish we can qualify again in Champions League. It will be a night devoted to sport" states Napoli’s President Aurelio De Laurentiis.
"It’s awsome to play in Italy where there is passion and great football. To face an excellent team like Napoli so early this season will be thrilling for our players, especially for those who moved to Napoli for a long time" declares the President of PSG Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
It's definitely not going to be an easy match for Napoli, as PSG will be bringing a star studded lineup to the San Paolo to give the hosts a very stern pre-season test. Among PSG's more notable names, besides Cavani and Lavezzi, include Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Tiago Silva, Lucas Moura, Blaise Matuidi, and new signing David Luiz. Their squad also includes Italian internationals Marco Veratti, Thiago Motta, and Salvatore Sirigu.
The only other time the two sides have faced each other was way back in 1993, when they faced off in the UEFA Cup round of 16. Napoli were beaten 2-0 at the Stadio San Paolo, and the return leg in Paris was scoreless as PSG advanced to the quarter finals. Hopefully the result will be a little better this time around.