Kalidou Koulibaly reveals the first thing Luciano Spalletti told Napoli players and says he had fun playing with Jorginho: ‘He’s a top player.’
The Partenopei are the Serie A table leaders on even points with Milan. On Sunday, they return to the pitch in a key away clash against Inter.
Koulibaly, 30, moved to Napoli in 2014 and despite being linked with several top clubs over the years, he never left the Stadio San Paolo, now Stadio Maradona.
“People are extraordinary and there are great spots here in Naples,” Koulibaly told DAZN as quoted by Calciomercato.com.
“When you walk in the city centre, you feel the love of the fans and what the club means to them. They dream, sleep and eat Napoli. As they say, when you arrive in Naples, you cry twice, when you arrive and when you leave.”
“My teammates and I have known each other for a long time,” the defender continued.
“We go out for dinner many times. We feel well together. When I hear other players talking, I notice that nobody has the same lifestyle as us in Naples and I think this reflects on the pitch.”
Jorginho desperate after penalty miss
Koulibaly shared the dressing room with many top players, among them Jorginho.
The Italy Regista left the Partenopei in 2018 to join Chelsea, along with Maurizio Sarri.
“It was the first person I shared the room with when I arrived in Naples. He taught me a little of Italian, I remember he used to correct me. He is an extraordinary player on the pitch, so important for Chelsea and Italy. I had fun playing with him. One stare was enough to understand each other.”
What has Luciano Spalletti given to Napoli?
“Mentality more than anything else,” said Koulibaly.
“He’s always respected Napoli and the first thing he said when he came here was that he had to find what problem we had because it was not normal we hadn’t won anything.
“It was important because if someone coming from outside says so, it means we have potential. He proved to be humble, saying Gattuso’s work had been excellent and that he didn’t arrive to make a revolution, but only to add a few things.”
Victor Osimhen is Napoli’s best scorer this season, while Lorenzo Insigne sees his contract expire in June 2022 and his future at the club is up in the air.
“Lorenzo is Napoli’s history, he’s always done so well and everybody loves him,” Koulibaly claimed.
“He is a nice person. We often talk, even when we are with our national teams.
Maradona statue presented by Napoli on November 28
“Osimhen’s first season was difficult, nobody expected him to reach this level, but he still has room for improvement.
“He is a humble guy who loves joking with his teammates. Spalletti has pushed him to improve. He’s helped him giving him strength and self-esteem.”
Napoli will remember their legend Diego Armando Maradona with a statue that will be unveiled on November 28, one year and three days after his death.
“I was lucky enough to know him when he played against Real Madrid,” the Senegal defender recalled.
“I gave him a shirt, telling him that I was waiting for him in Naples. I was also lucky to receive words of praise from him. Not many players can say the same.”
#Napoli, #Koulibaly: ‘#Insigne è la storia, voglio lo scudetto in memoria di #Maradona. Ringrazio #Chiellini e #Irrati…’ https://t.co/jUfix0sV5z pic.twitter.com/gwlt5iSlRv
— calciomercato.com (@cmdotcom) November 18, 2021