Kalidou Koulibaly expressed love and admiration for Napoli Coaches Rafa Benitez, Maurizio Sarri and Carlo Ancelotti. “I hope to be like Ancelotti when I’m his age.”
The Senegal international has long been linked with a move abroad to the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea or Manchester City.
A reunion with Sarri at Stamford Bridge was the most likely option, but he seems to be relishing life under new Napoli boss Ancelotti.
“Rafa Benitez and Ancelotti have a pretty similar style of football. I was also fortunate enough to play with Sarri and his football was truly wonderful,” Koulibaly told the Corriere dello Sport.
“He allowed me to see football and games in a different way. His philosophy was concentrated on tactics, it was all predicted and planned with him.
“Today, when I watch a game involving any other team, I don’t see it the same way as I did four or five years ago. I owe that to Sarri.
“Benitez allowed me to discover real football. I was in the French second division, then Belgium, but he gave me the opportunity to come to Serie A for the first time, a truly important league.
“His football is very similar to that of Ancelotti, because they are Coaches who have won a great deal, worked at top clubs and their visions of the game have many crossovers.
“Everyone knows what Ancelotti has done in his career, but what surprises me the most is the humility he still has and the desire to keep winning.
“He is a really good man and I thank him, because he gives me the desire to keep going, to grow and to prove I am a stronger player every day.
“I hope to do great things with Ancelotti, because he ensures everyone feels they are believed in and trusted. I don’t think you’ll ever hear a player speak badly of Ancelotti, as he has real values and makes everyone feel calm.
“I always tell my wife that when I reach his age, I hope to be a man like Ancelotti.”