Thursday January 18 2018
Koulibaly: ‘End Juventus dominance’

Kalidou Koulibaly says he and his Napoli teammates are looking to “end the Juventus hegemony” this season.

The Bianconeri have won Serie A for the past six seasons in a row, but this year they find themselves a point behind the Partenopei after 20 games.

“This year we want to get to the end,” Koulibaly told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We’ll do everything to keep Juventus behind us, but Roma and Inter aren’t out of the Scudetto picture either.

“My intent, and that of my teammates, is to end the Bianconeri hegemony. We deserve to be top of the league, we’re proving that you can win while playing spectacular football.”

Juve won at the San Paolo earlier this season, how did it feel to see Gonzalo Higuain grab the winner against his former team?

“I was only missing one centimetre to take the ball off him, I got there a split second after he shot at goal.

“That’s how Juventus play against us, they score a goal and then they put everyone back and defend it. They’re games of a great level, but you can lose them on one detail.

“Pipita is a champion though, it was a pleasure to play with him. Apart from anything else he was at Napoli for three years and knows all our mechanisms, so he always manages to surprise us.”

Koulibaly was then asked who, apart from Higuain, is the best striker in Serie A.

“I’ll say [Mauro] Icardi and [Edin] Dzeko but the one who causes me most problems is [Nikola] Kalinic, he always plays right on the line of offside.

“Of course, you can’t forget Napoli’s, [Jose] Callejon, [Dries] Mertens and [Lorenzo] Insigne are real champions.”

Napoli face Atalanta at the weekend, and the centre-back doesn't expect an easy game.

"I'd say Atalanta are the real anti-Napoli. Whenever we face them we suffer with the way they play.

"It will be a good test of maturity for us, if we win there it would be very significant."

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