Thursday January 17 2019
Fabian: I want to emulate Xavi

Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz ‘dreams of following in the footsteps’ of Barcelona icon Xavi Hernandez but confesses ‘I never eat pizza. I don’t like it.’

Fabian has slotted seamlessly into Napoli’s squad since arriving from Real Betis in a €30m deal last summer, and the Spain Under-21 midfielder [pictured, left] discussed his start to life in the south with Radio Kiss Kiss. 

“Playing here is magnificent,” he began.

“Albiol and Callejon helped me a lot. They were the first ones I spoke to. They were my translators and they’re my friends, even before they became my colleagues, but now I’m learning Italian. Napoli is a big family.

“Ancelotti? Working with the Coach is fantastic and I knew him before I met him. He’s a great Coach and he’s won a lot.

“The Scudetto will be difficult, but we’ll go all the way for it and we want to win the Europa League.

“The Coach is convinced we’ll win something soon because Napoli have a strong group. We’re working calmly because we know trophies will follow.

“I feel best in the middle of the park, but I also enjoy playing on the left. I fell in love with football thanks to Xavi.

“He was a pillar for Barcelona and Spain for so many years and I dream of following in his footsteps.

“My day usually consists of training, eating lunch with the team and then relaxing at home.

“In the evening I go out with Mertens, who shows me Naples. He’s a great player and person.

“I still speak only a bit if Neapolitan, but there is the word ‘fra’ [brother in Neapolitan], which amuses me a lot. ‘Fra’ to me is Mertens, but I never eat pizza. I don’t like it.”

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