The two-day, four-team Audi Cup tournament has been held every two years since 2009, and in this summer’s edition, Napoli will be taking part for the first time ever. Hosted by Bayern Munich, the mini-tournament is typically a clash between some of the best teams in Europe, and while AC Milan have represented Italy in every other edition of the Audi Cup, this time Napoli have been tabbed to take their place.
Napoli will be joined by first-round opponents Atlético Madrid, Liverpool, and hosts Bayern Munich, playing their first match on August 1st at the Allianz Arena in Munich. If they win, they’ll face the winner of the match between Bayern and Liverpool on August 2nd, and if they lose they’ll play earlier that same day against the loser of the other match in a battle for third place.
While this is strictly a friendly tournament with nothing meaningful on the line, getting an early look at how the Napoli squad is shaking out will be valuable for Maurizio Sarri and his staff to evaluate. That’s especially true with Napoli in the draw for the Champions League playoff round on August 4th, with that two-legged tie to be played later in the month. Getting a pair of matches in against some of the best teams in Europe will be excellent preparation for that tie, and Napoli can get a lot of excellent experience from this trip to Germany.
No matter what happens to Napoli in this tournament, there’s a lot of good that can come from it for the team — not to mention a little extra money to help entice them across the border. As long as the team suffers no major injuries during the two games, There’s no downside here — Napoli get paid, they get experience against top teams, and they get to see how their season preparations are progressing in a tournament format. This is good for Napoli, and if they do well in the tournament, it’s only going to help raise the team’s profile and standing.