Osimhen & Co blowup €10m payday

Edwin
Edwin  - CEO March 12, 2024
Updated 2024/03/12 at 11:07 PM
3 Min Read
LAST 8: Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring. Pic credit: Alessandro Garofalo/LaPresse via AP/Irish Examiner
Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match between Napoli and Barcelona at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples, Italy, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. (Alessandro Garofalo/LaPresse via AP)

As Barcelona roars back to the Champions League quarter-finals after win over Napoli

Image credit: Get Football News

 

Napoli stars’ quest to remain in line for a €10m bonus payout by club boss Aurelio De Laurentiis went up in smoke in Montjuïc with their 1-3 loss to La Liga giants Barcelona in a UEFA second leg quarter-final tie.

 

Yet Victor Osimhen and Co. knew in advance before the Partenopei’s trip to Catalunya of the Napoli president’s promise to manager Francesco Calzona’s players of earning a €10 million incentive should they qualify for the 2025 Club World Cup.

 

According to AP News, Barcelona returned to the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time in four years with a 3-1 win over Napoli on Tuesday.

 

The report anchored by the Irish Examiner claims that Fermín López, João Cancelo, and Robert Lewandowski scored for Barcelona, which advanced 4-2 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Italy three weeks ago.

 

Amir Rrahmani scored for Napoli, which couldn’t repeat its last eight appearances from last season.

 

Barcelona had been eliminated from the group stage in the last two years and hadn’t reached the quarterfinals since 2019-20 when it lost to Bayern Munich.

 

The Champions League could be Barcelona’s last realistic chance for a title this season. It was eliminated in the Copa del Rey and trails Spanish league leader Real Madrid by seven points.

 

Barcelona struggled to keep Napoli from threatening after taking the early lead at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys. Goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, making his 100th UEFA appearance, was tested often by Napoli’s attack.

 

Barcelona had a few chances to increase its lead on counterattacks before Lewandowski sealed the win from close range in the 83rd after an assist by substitute Sergi Roberto.

 

López put the hosts ahead with a shot from the middle of the area in the 15th minute after a low cross by Raphinha, who also set up Cancelo’s goal two minutes later. The Brazilian forward hit the post from inside the area, and the ball bounced back for an easy strike by Cancelo.

 

Napoli scored in the 30th, and Rrahmani found the net with a low left-footed shot for his first European goal.

 

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