Henrique hails Napoli head coach Rafa Benitez

Henrique's good form in Brazil earned him the move - Action Images

Napoli defender Henrique has praised club coach Rafa Benitez and compared him to Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Henrique was the biggest surprise in Scolari's World Cup squad announcement and he paid tribute to the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager.

The 27-year-old spoke exclusively to Globo, he said: "Rafa Benitez helped me a lot. The day I got here, I was having dinner, and he sat down to talk to me.

“He asked me to continue playing as I did in Brazil and asked if I was ready to play immediately.

“He and Scolari are very similar in how the group command. The environment is also very good here at Napoli.”

The environment may be good in Naples but the former Barcelona defender was initially afraid of how the move to Serie A would go.

Five months after the transfer, it is safe to say it has been a successful switch. Henrique said: "I was afraid because despite having already played in Europe, I spent three years in Brazil and was accustomed to football there.

“I know that to get used to Europe it takes a while, because football here is different.

“I was with some trepidation, but I kept the confidence that I could be drafted into the squad and hank God things happened.”

Read more:

> Napoli defender Henrique: I found out about Brazil call-up through the TV
> Sambafoot Sunday: Henrique Included in Scolari's World Cup Family
 

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