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Past glories inspire Cavani ahead of Chelsea test

SSC Napoli's Edinson Cavani hopes one day to be remembered in the same breath as club greats Careca and Diego Maradona but for now remains focused on overcoming Chelsea FC.

Edinson Cavani addresses the media at Tuesday evening's press conference
Edinson Cavani addresses the media at Tuesday evening's press conference ©Getty Images

SSC Napoli striker Edinson Cavani hopes Wednesday's UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg against Chelsea FC can act as a springboard into Partenopei folklore.

Napoli lead Chelsea 3-1 after a breathless opening instalment in Naples three weeks ago, one goal from Cavani and two from Ezequiel Lavezzi overturning Juan Mata's opener. The Blues have since dispensed of manager André Villas-Boas and appointed his assistant, Roberto Di Matteo, as interim first-team coach. The last eight may be in sight but for Cavani it is the glories of yesteryear which are providing a particular source of inspiration.

"When I got to Napoli obviously I looked at the history of the club and at players like Careca or [Diego] Maradona – who made a big impact here," said the Uruguayan international. "But I just want to play my part and think that one day what I will achieve with Napoli may be remembered alongside these great players."

Cavani, though, is taking nothing for granted having last week watched Serie A rivals AC Milan go close to surrendering a 4-0 first-leg advantage against Arsenal FC. "We know what to expect from Chelsea and we must prepare accordingly," he said. "It's going to be a tough night, and a very difficult match for us. We saw in the game between Arsenal and Milan that a tie can change in five minutes, so we have to be prepared."

Cavani, 25, has been in prolific form this season, scoring five goals in his seven UEFA Champions League appearances, as well as 16 in 25 Serie A games. Another effort at Stamford Bridge would be welcome against Chelsea, who have not hit their straps this term but remain a threat.

"We know what they can do," added Cavani. "It's fantastic to be playing matches like this, but we know that when the referee blows the whistle and the match begins we will just forget about the first game and focus on the match tomorrow. We want to go through but we know we must work very hard to get there. We have dreamt about this situation, to play matches like this, and finally we have got here."

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