Walter Mazzarri leaves Napoli

Giuseppe Bellini

Walter Mazzarri's magnificent run at Napoli has come to an end after the manager announced that he will not return next season.

Walter Mazzarri is leaving Napoli, ending a successful four-year run with the partenopei. Mazzarri confirmed that this would be his last year with the club after Napoli's season finale on Sunday.

"I want to thank the fans, but I have ended my cycle here at Napoli," Mazzarri said.

Mazzarri built one of Europe's most entertaining teams at Napoli, highlighting the attacking prowess of Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi in a counter-attacking 3-4-3 that saw the team finish third in 2010-11. That booked them a place in the Champions League, where they bowed out in the round of 16 to eventual champions Chelsea. Mazzarri's men also added a Coppa Italia title and this season finished second in Serie A to earn a return to the Champions League.

Despite Mazzarri's success and Napoli's return to the Champions League, the 51-year-old manager had been non-committal all season about his return for next season. His contract is up and despite the club's best efforts to sign him on for longer, Mazzarri insisted that he would not make up his mind until after the season. Now he has.

"I thought of leaving last summer - that's why I signed for one year," Mazzarri explained after revealing he would not return. "I need a change of scene or to take a few months' break."

Napoli lost Lavezzi to Paris Saint-German last year, but they still finished second place without him. This summer, Cavani will be the target of several big clubs, but Napoli have held off teams for the striker before. If he returns and Napoli put their Champions League money to good use, Napoli will have another excellent team for whoever their new manager is.

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