Luciano Spalletti: “De Laurentiis had doubts over Kvaratskhelia”

Napoli have a date with history as over the next few weeks, they’ll win their first Scudetto since 1990 and they’ll be playing against Milan in the Champions League quarter finals.

Coach Luciano Spalletti is excited for what will happen, as he confirmed during an award ceremony that took place this morning in Napoli.

“This is something that must be lived in its entirety, and we’re looking forward to it. It’s amazing and this is something I’ve never felt in 64 years. Players have to be careful. Time goes by to never pass again and these kind of matches are wonderful.

“The team looks great, thanks to the president I can count on a wonderful staff. The key factor is that you can’t bring on the pitch what you’ve done in the past. We’re starting from zero”. 

During his speech, Spalletti told a backstory about Aurelio de Laurentiis having doubts over the signings of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Kim Min-jae.

“De Laurentiis (Napoli’s president) had these doubts too. We used to talk over night before signing both of them, as I’ve worked in Russia previously I’ve called some friends there to know a little more about Kvara.

“De Laurentiis was skeptical about the differences between their leagues and Serie A but nowadays the boundaries in football are thinner, it’s easier to make immediately an impact”.

Finally, Spalletti showed nothing but love and respect for skipper Giovanni di Lorenzo: “He can do different things playing different roles. He’s an incredible defender.

“In the build-up, he’s an added midfielder thanks to his skills and when he goes forward he’s someone who shows the vulnerabilities of the opponents’ lines”.

Kvaratskhelia has obviously made a big mark at Napoli and in the Champions League as well and he has become one of the first few players to hit the double figures mark for both goals and assists across the top five European leagues.

Kim, meanwhile, has emerged as one of the best centre-backs in Europe this season and has already been linked with a move to Manchester United. Both the players are, in essence, a reflection of Napoli’s sound recruitment and how they have always been shrewd in the market.


Andrea Agostinelli I GIFN

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