Faouzi Ghoulam thanked Napoli for his Algeria Player of the Year award and will “give my all for the Scudetto” after his injury woes.
The left-back won the award for Algerian Player of the Year and got the news that he’ll resume training far quicker than expected following his ACL tear.
“I didn’t expect this award, as I always think of the team first, like any defender, so this is rather unusual to receive individual plaudits. We tend to do our work in the shadows,” Ghoulam told TV Luna.
“Getting more votes than important players like Yacine Brahimi and Riyad Mahrez is remarkable, but if I won this award, then it’s thanks to Napoli.
“My family was very proud and I’m proud to represent Algeria, but it’s thanks to Napoli that I have reached this level. I try to see the positive in everything and am also religious, so I see the good in the bad. I had this injury, but the people were always close to me and I didn’t expect such warmth from the Napoli and Algeria fans. I thank everyone for the affection that helped me get back on the field as soon as possible.
“The credit for this rapid recovery is not to me, but the Napoli doctors and physiotherapists. They are remarkable, as every day my knee is improving. We had three weeks of double training sessions: six or seven hours on the field and two or three hours at home.”
Did Coach Maurizio Sarri express admiration for this quick comeback?
“No, he tells me I’m slow!” laughed Ghoulam. “I’ve missed the fight for important targets and helping my team. I want to win for this city, as not being there feels so strange. We said to ourselves at the start of the season that fighting for the victory was our reason to live.
“I haven’t circled a specific date for my comeback, as it’s not just up to me, but also the Coach and the doctors. I told the medics to keep me going to May, then if I need further interventions, I can do that when there’s time to recover. I’ll give my all for the Scudetto.”
There is one particular teammate that Ghoulam misses more than the others and that’s his roommate Kalidou Koulibaly.
“He has become a brother to me and I don’t use that term lightly. He can have any problem in life and I will always be by his side when I’m needed, to the end of my life.
“It doesn’t happen often, but I have three truly great friends: Kalidou, an Algerian friend and another player who is at Chelsea.”
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