Lorenzo Insigne admits ‘it is impossible’ to forget his Italy experience this summer, but is ‘calm and as motivated as ever’ with Napoli.
The attacking midfielder was one of those to come under scrutiny following the Azzurri’s early World Cup exit in Brazil, for below-par performances.
For the 23-year-old, who appeared in the 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica, the blame is not just at those to have been named in the media.
“It’s impossible to forget that game. It was my debut at the World Cup,” Insigne has explained to the Corriere del Mezzogiorno.
“But the responsibility is not just for the youngsters or those cited by Prandelli. I could do better, but I feel no guilt.
Insigne was talking from Napoli’s pre-season training base at Dimaro, where he reported in earlier than originally intended.
“I have arrived at Dimaro calm and as motivated as ever. It would be stupid to think anymore about the World Cup.
“We must go on and to do that I must think only of Napoli, to work hard and have a good season.
“The motivation is very high. I want to do better than last year, mainly to score more goals.
“I am from Naples and it is a pride for me to wear the Azzurro shirt. Fans feel represented by those of their land and that’s why they always ask the most of them.
“But this does not make me uncomfortable. Like them I want to go out and win every time.
“Competition with Mertens and Callejon? The choices that the Coach makes are sacrosanct. We must do everything to make those decisions difficult. Competition helps us to do better.
“Ambitions this year? We want the most important objectives, we would like to give our fans the Scudetto and to go as far as we can in the Champions League.
“We will respect our opponents but we go on to the field without fear.”
Insigne was asked for a word on each of the Coaches he has worked under at club level so far.
“Zeman has helped me a lot in the most delicate moment of my development, Mazzarri gave me my debut in Serie A, Benitez is a Coach from whom I have had faith and who allowed me to play more.”
Insigne has also been linked this summer with a move away from Napoli, with Arsenal in particular having apparently had early interest turned down.
“It’s an honour that Arsenal are interested in me. But for now I want to stay in Naples. I want to win here.”