The Senegalese defender commented on the words of the Napoli president during his presentation with Chelsea: “The team without Africans? It is his right to think so, but it is not right to speak like that “
“I feel like a kid in a toy store”. He almost never stops smiling Kalidou Koulibaly during the presentation press conference as a new Chelsea player. The Premier League was his dream of him, the one he has cherished for a long time, long before his brother Abdullah showed him the games of the Blues that he is a huge fan of. Now he has made it happen, signing a four-year contract with the Londoners, which made it the second purchase of the new era. He does not stop smiling at the new pillar of Tuchel’s defense, when he thinks of Saturday’s debut against Everton or the challenges that await him. He stops only for a moment: when he has to respond to Aurelio De Laurentiis’ utterances.
The patron of Napoli yesterday declared that he would no longer buy African players, tired of their absences for the African Cup of Nations. Koulibaly, captain of Senegal, thinks about it for a while before answering. “It depends on him whether or not he wants to buy other African players – he attacks -. For me, the main thing is respect, and if that’s his opinion I respect it. When I was playing in Naples I also represented Senegal: I’m sure it was tough for the team when we went to the African Cup, but we also need respect for the African national teams, and as a Senegal captain I think it’s not fair to talk about a national team like that. African. I respect what he thinks: if he believes that his team can go on without African players, it is his right. But I know for sure that in Naples there are many people who don’t think like him. I take these words as an opinion of him, not as what the city or society itself thinks ”. Previously, Koulibaly had only had words of praise for Napoli and his experience at Napoli, saying he never thought about leaving before because “the team was not ready to let me go, and I am one who has respect for the owner. , the team and the fans and I never asked to leave ”. Even if the time had come now.
The 26 of Chelsea
Koulibaly’s new home is the London he can’t wait to explore with his family, so different from Naples where “I also talked about football with other parents when I accompanied my children to school”. His new team is Stamford Bridge and Chelsea to whom he wants to “give everything I have to show that they made the right choice”. And the shirt number 26, the same he had at Napoli, which asked permission to wear the legend John Terry, the last of the Blues to have chosen it before him. “When they told me what numbers there were free they didn’t mention it – he says -. I asked for 26, they told me that no one had brought it since Terry. So I asked Gianfranco Zola if he could put me in touch with him, because I know what he has done for this club and I wanted to ask his permission. When I called him he thought it was a phone joke: I had to have him talk to the team manager so that he could convince himself that it was really me. I am happy that he has given me his blessing ”.
Koulibaly is keen to clarify one thing: it is not the new Terry or the new Rudiger, the central he is replacing in Tuchel’s chessboard. “I’m not Antonio, if people think this they are wrong. I have another style, another way of playing and thinking about football. I’m Koulibaly, I’m not Rudiger ”. Certainly the former Napoli defense pillar will need a period of adaptation: “Here we play differently than in Serie A, much faster – he explains -: I will have to learn to think faster, to move more quickly. I will need time, but I am convinced that I will be able to prove that I am worth the Premier League, to prove that the club made the right choice when it decided to bet on me ”. Koulibaly is ready for the challenge.
August 3, 2022 (change August 3, 2022 | 16:21)
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