Spain international Raul Albiol has revealed his contentment at his first season in Serie A with Napoli.
The defender spoke with AS and reflected on his debut campaign at San Paolo, playing under Rafael Benitez alongside a number of familiar faces to La Liga followers.
Napoli finished in third place in the table, 24 points behind runaway winners Juventus. It was Benitez’s first year on the bench after the departure of Walter Mazzarri, who left for Inter.
“The first year is always difficult. There were many changes in the team and individuals, but we are happy,” Albiol said.
“We had a mentality problem. We must learn from the mistakes we made against the mid-table teams down if we want to fight for the League next season.
“It is clear the club wants more. The difference is Juve won many games by the minimum while we lost several times when we had to win points.
“I’m sure the club will continue to grow, with new players and the goal has to be to improve year after year.”
Albiol added that on a personal level he was pleased with himself and is now looking forward to the World Cup.
“I’m happy. It was a pivotal year for me. I played a lot and felt important,” the former Real Madrid man continued.
“The truth is it went very well. There are very good players that made everything easier.
“They live football in this city and that makes you feel comfortable.
“I hope to be among the 23 selected [for the World Cup]. Injuries will be important. We have to see who can get to the finals at their best level.
“I see Belgium and Colombia [as possible dark horses] but I’m sure there will be several.
“Brazil are the hosts and Argentina has a great team, but Spain are defending champions.”