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Napoli ready for Messi's Stadio San Paolo debut

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NAPLES, ITALY (FEBRUARY 24, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) NAPOLI MANAGER, GENNARO GATTUSO, SAYING:

"I read many things about Messi, about man marking et cetera, but we have to play a great game as a team because there is not only Messi."

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) NAPOLI CAPTAIN, LORENZO INSIGNE, SAYING:

"Messi for me is the strongest player in the world but I don't want to compare him to Maradona because for us Neapolitans Maradona is everything and I don't make comparisons because for us Neapolitans Maradona is holy. But now Messi in my opinion is the strongest player in the world."

STORY: Napoli are ready for Lionel Messi, their coach Gennaro Gattuso said on Monday (February 24), as they prepared to host Barcelona in their Champions League round of 16 first leg.

Gattuso, who will be coaching in the competition for the first time in Tuesday's (February 25) match having replaced Carlo Ancelotti in December with the team in disarray after the club fined the players for refusing to take part in a training camp, also stressed that his side cannot solely focus on the Argentina great.

Meanwhile, captain Lorenzo Insigne hailed Messi as the 'strongest' current player in the world, but would not get drawn into comparions with the legendary Maradona, who spent seven trophy-laden years in Naples from 1984 until 1991.

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