Carlo Ancelotti ready for Gianluigi Buffon reunion in Napoli vs. PSG Champions League clash

The Italian legend returns to Italy on Tuesday when PSG face Napoli in the Champions League. (AFP)
Updated 05 November 2018

Carlo Ancelotti ready for Gianluigi Buffon reunion in Napoli vs. PSG Champions League clash

  • Paris Saint-Germain in need of a good result in Naples.
  • Buffon set to make his European debut for the Qatar-owned team.

NAPLES: Carlo Ancelotti was looking forward to meeting up again with his old friend Gianluigi Buffon ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with “unpredictable” former club Paris Saint-Germain.
“It’s always a pleasure to meet him again, to see that he is motivated despite his age, I have great respect for the professional and great affection for my friend,” said Ancelotti.
Buffon, 40, will make his European debut with the French champions against the heated backdrop of 55,000 fans in the San Paolo Stadium in his first game in Italy since leaving Juventus in the summer.
“Even if the result in the first leg (2-2) could have been better for us in the end we will need something extraordinary to beat Paris,” said Ancelotti, who coached PSG from 2011 to 2013.
Napoli are second in Group C on five points after three games, one behind leaders Liverpool.
PSG face the prospect of potential early elimination as they sit third with four.
“The group remains very balanced and uncertain, which is a very positive thing for us,” estimated Ancelotti.
Napoli are counting on Ancelotti’s European credentials — the veteran coach won the Champions League twice with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007 and once with Real Madrid in 2014 — to pull them through against PSG, who have the two most expensive players in history in Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
“We know the difficulties, the importance and what we have to do tomorrow night,” said Ancelotti.
“They remain a strong team, very difficult to deal with, and at the moment they’re totally unpredictable.
“Having done well in the first leg gives us more conviction, but it’s still a really difficult game.”
Meanwhile, Ancelotti added that Qatar-owned PSG were not the same team he coached to the Ligue 1 title in 2013.
“There are many differences, the team was under construction, but now the project has reached the final stage.”


Saudi Arabia’s footballers given heroes’ welcome on arrival in Palestine for World Cup qualifier

Updated 13 October 2019

Saudi Arabia’s footballers given heroes’ welcome on arrival in Palestine for World Cup qualifier

  • Green Falcons’ decision to play the AFC World Cup qualifier in Palestine was met with praise
  • Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas received Yasser Al-Mishal, the president of the Saudi Football Federation

RAMALLAH, Palestine: The Saudi Arabian national team arrived in Ramallah on Sunday ahead of their 2022 World Cup qualifying match against Palestine to a heroes’ welcome.

Earlier this month, the Green Falcons’ decision to play the AFC World Cup qualifier in Palestine was met with praise from those within the Palestinian authority.

Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Federation, told Arab News on Oct. 5 that the visit of the Saudi team has a historic and significant meaning for Palestinians.

And their arrival was met with fanfare from fans and authorities alike.

As the team arrived, the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas received Yasser Al-Mishal, the president of the Saudi Football Federation and offered a heartfelt welcome to the official and the Saudi team.

A video dedication as a message of thanks from the Palestinian people to the Saudi players was also released on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia face Palestine in Group D of the Asian section of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup having beaten Singapore and securing a draw against Yemen after two games.

Palestine, meanwhile, scored a shock 2-0 win over Uzbekistan in their first game before going down to Singapore away from home.

The match will be played at the Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium in Al-Ram on Tuesday.