Barcelona will challenge for Champions League again – Ancelotti

Barcelona should be Champions League contenders again in 2019-20, according to Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti expects Barcelona to contend for a first Champions League title since 2015 after their signings this close season.

The five-time European champions have fallen short in the continent’s premier club competition in recent seasons, including an extraordinary semi-final loss to Liverpool in 2018-19.

Ancelotti, whose side face Barca in a friendly in Florida on Wednesday, feels Ernesto Valverde’s men should be contenders once more this season after seeing the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong arrive.

“I believe that Barcelona is always a candidate to win the Champions League,” he told a news conference.

“It has a player like [Lionel] Messi and many others, so I think they always compete to win the maximum and the maximum is the Champions League.

“I think that with the signings they have done, this year will be very competitive.”

Napoli are likewise hoping to push ahead in the wake of completing second in Serie An and getting thumped out in the Champions League gathering stage.

Ancelotti trusts LaLiga and the Premier League remain the world’s best rivalries, yet included Serie An is improving.

“Right now, Italian football is a little underneath LaLiga and the Premier League, yet something is moving,” he said.

“A year ago Cristiano [Ronaldo] arrived [at Juventus], which is significant for our group. I think later on Italian football is going to arrive at the level.

“The arenas are being redesigned and I feel that gradually Italy will be better.”

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