Eddie Howe and defender Steve Cook were all praises of Italian side Napoli as their pre-season clash against them finished 2-2. "They're up there with Manchester City, Tottenham and Real Madrid," Howe said after the result at the Vitality Stadium.
Football Italia reported that the game was very much one-sided for the majority of the first half, with Bournemouth's goalkeepers Artur Boric and Asmir Begovic making a string of saves during their cameos in goal.
Napoli's main man Dries Mertens opened the scoring in the first half, but the Cherries turned the game on it's head with goals from Benik Afobe and Simon Francis making it 2-1 after 51 minutes. Piotr Zielinski pounced on a loose ball to level the game and brought an end to a great experience for Bournemouth against a top European side.
"We constantly aspire to be like Napoli and domestically at the top of the Premier League," Howe told Bournemouth's official website. "We learned so much tactically and we will take that into our league campaign."
Cook compared Napoli to the top sides in Europe and said: "We have come away with a draw here and ended our pre-season on a high." The Cherries played six fixtures in their pre-season, only losing once.
Eddie Howe's side travel to the Hawthorns on Saturday to kick off their Premier League campaign.
Napoli's next fixture sees them facing off against French side Nice in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier. The Italian side kick off their domestic campaign away to Hellas Verona on the 19th.