Ahead of Sunday evening’s match against Roma, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has admitted he will find it hard to leave the Partenopei and expressed his admiration for coach Carlo Ancelotti.
The Senegalese is amongst the best centre-backs in Europe and has long been linked with a move to top clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United, Barcelona and Manchester City.
“My caretaker keeps telling me: ‘You cry twice in Naples, when you arrive and when you leave’,” he told Corriere dello Sport.
“I didn’t cry when I arrived but I will cry a lot the day that I leave, if I ever leave.
“I am happy in Naples. Sometimes people speak badly but they don’t know how it feels to leave here. If you don’t live here you can’t understand.”
However, the 27-year-old defender confessed his disappointment regarding racist chants around Italian stadiums, the latest of which resulted in the closure of Juventus’ Curva Sud.
“I didn’t hear them in my first season, but they did start to irritate me in the second,” Koulibaly said.
“I don’t accept those ‘monkey noises’ because they are not against me personally, but against my skin colour and at times the same chants are used against the people of Southern Italy.”
The Senegal international, who has extended his contract with Napoli until 2023, also expressed his admiration for both his former coach Maurizio Sarri and current Napoli incumbant Ancelotti.
“I was lucky enough to play with Sarri and his football was truly wonderful,” Koulibaly went on.
“He allowed me to see football and games in a different way. His philosophy concentrated on tactics, it was all predicted and planned with him.
“Today, when I watch a game involving any other team, I don’t see it the same way as I did four or five years ago. I owe that to Sarri.
“Everyone knows what Ancelotti has done in his career, but what surprises me the most is the humility he still has and the desire to keep winning.
“He is a really good man and I thank him because he gives me the desire to keep going, to grow and to prove I am a stronger player every day.
“I hope to do great things with Ancelotti, because he ensures everyone feels they are believed in and trusted.”
Napoli host Roma at Stadio San Paolo on Sunday night in the Derby del Sole.