Paolo Cannavaro admits that he would have chosen a different way to end his Napoli career, but holds no regrets on his time at the club.
The 32-year-old fell out of favour under Rafa Benitez before moving out to Sassuolo on loan for the end of the season, seemingly indicating the end of his seven years with the Vesuviani.
“I had hoped that the farewell from Napoli would be another way, that was not possible. I was not given the chance, but I am okay, I am satisfied,” began Cannavaro on Tiki Taka this week.
“Having said that, I will always be the biggest fan of the Azzurri.
“Cannavaro is a cumbersome name in Naples, but the fact that after so many years they called my ‘Paolo’ and not ‘the brother of…’ was a success.”
The defender was asked if Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis’ poor relationship with his brother Fabio had anything to do with his exit.
“I don’t know if there were issues with the President, we should ask him. In my career I had the opportunity to be at Napoli in spite of my surname and I stayed there for seven years, I always deserved the jersey.
“Fabio turned down the invitation to see out his career at the San Paolo, but it has nothing to do with me.
Cannavaro’s best form at the San Paolo came under Walter Mazzarri.
“Mazzarri brought the best out in me, like many other players who are now in major Leagues in Europe. He brings out the best in each player and that is one of his greatest features. I recall him with pleasure.
“It was a relationship that went beyond the simple player/manager understanding.
“Biting the bottle? I saw him do things that go beyond, so I’m not surprised. It was the right tactical move.”
The veteran was asked of his current sporting situation, a relegation dogfight with Sassuolo.
“Sassuolo? It is hard, but we are still in the fight, with Chievo [next weekend] it will be difficult and decisive because they are more accustomed to these matches.
“To move from the Scudetto to relegation is hard, you need humility but in the Cannavaro family this is not lacking.
“We are an organised team, we do not deserve the position we sit in the table.”