Aurelio De Laurentiis has explained that Napoli ‘aren’t a Cindarella’, theorised on struggles to sign certain players and hinted that he ‘may get tired of football’.
Talking at the launch of a youth football tournament initiative based in Naples, the President discussed a number of topics, whilst dropping a hint over his long-term ambitions.
“In football we can talk forever, who knows how many more times I will talk about football until I get tired,” considered De Laurentiis to reporters in attendance.
“If I do get tired, I will blame only the framework. My love is always the same…but I could also get tired.”
The Napoli patron reflected on his work at the Stadio San Paolo these recent years, and looked for clarity.
“We created a great toy and we do not want to break it. Do not forget that we do not own our stadium, it is difficult to respect Financial Fair Play when other clubs have turnovers five times as large.
“We are no longer the Cindarella. We had 12 points in the Champions League and we went out, while other teams have progressed with five points.
“We have Higuain and we are not Cindarella, we had Cavani and we are not a Cindarella. I’m annoyed, we are not a Cindarella.”
The film producer reflected on how he sees working in the transfer market at the moment. The club saw talks with Lyon over a move for Maxime Gonalons break down this week.
“Football brings with it old ways. In Spain there are certain customs, in Portugal and in France there are others. In England and in Germany, others again.
“When you go to negotiate in another country, you find there is no unilateral network. We must respect the reasons of others without immediately pulling the plug. I learned this and I try to treasure it.
“These days I read figures and things that are incorrect but have not objected nor looked to straighten things, out of respect of the parties. This is not a street market nor is it a public auction, even though that would be nice.
“Napoli has a particular reality, without ifs and buts, and it is sometimes difficult to convince people to come here. This is a city that, if you do not know it, do not know the history and its people, you do not understand, and it has nothing to do with Financial Fair Play or the costs.
“It is hard sometimes to go knocking on the doors of some clubs, it is not just about money. I am not referring to football or negotiations. It is you [the reporters] who paraphrase.”
De Laurentiis also revealed the intention to organise a friendly with Paris Saint-Germain at the San Paolo, which would welcome back Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani.
“When I sold Lavezzi, PSG did not have all the money there, and we scheduled a friendly which later we decided not to go ahead with.
“This year we sold Cavani and we scheduled another friendly and then I changed my mind. I said, ‘do you know what will happen if returning to the San Paolo were these…’.
“Now it seems like the right year, we have a great fighter in Higuain and it would be nice to involve the kids involved in this project as mascots, when the game is held.
“Napoli will participate further in this initiative, we will host teams at the San Paolo at the end of the season and there will be other initiatives.
“The 2,000 kids who take part will be our guests at the San Paolo for Napoli-PSG.”