Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis said on Tuesday that he would not sign another African player unless they agreed not to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly – now at Premier League club Chelsea – and Cameroonian midfielder Andre Zambo Anguesa missed several Napoli matches while on international duty at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, which took place between January and February.
“Or they sign a waiver of their right to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations or between the Africa Cup of Nations and the South American Championships… I have never had them. [Napoli players] He said on the Wall Street Italy talk show.
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Coulibaly responded to De Laurentiis’ comments in his first press conference as a Chelsea player and expressed his disappointment.
“You have to respect the national team, because you can’t talk about the African team like that,” Coulibaly said.
“As captain of Senegal, I think it’s not a good way to talk about an African team. But I respect what it is. If he thinks a team can play without African players, it’s up to him. Not everyone has the same idea of him at the club.”
De Laurentiis also criticized the fact that clubs were agreeing to more and more matches, and suggested a European Championship with the top clubs from the five most powerful countries instead of the Champions League, Europa League and Europa League.
“The world of football cannot manage itself because we are showing puppets to others… If we can play 100 matches, it will be a happy ending for everyone and we [clubs] Like Christine they agree.”
The Italian film producer also said he did not support the breakaway European League, which ended less than 48 hours after it was announced last year, because it was an elite club.
“You can’t create a premium club from premium members who invite others [to the league]. You must keep the door democratically open to all.”
De Laurentiis added that he was tired of offers from the club’s investment funds, adding that he was offered 900 million euros about four to five years ago by American investors.
“You are [bidders] I did not understand anything [about me]. I am a pure businessman who enjoys doing business…let me play.”
“I want to be the number 12 player on the field. Actually, the 12th player is the cheerleader, and I can be the 13th or even the 14th, because 14 is my favorite number.”