Thursday March 7 2019
Hamsik: If Napoli were challenging...

Marek Hamsik has admitted that he ‘misses everything’ at Napoli and could have stayed ‘if we’d been fighting for the Scudetto’.

Hamsik left Napoli for Dalian Yifang last month as their all-time top goalscorer and record appearance holder, but the midfielder’s time at the San Paolo coincided with Juventus’ domestic domination.

“At the end of the match against Sampdoria, I didn’t know how things would pan out,” their former captain told Il Mattino.

“Then I found an agreement and I was sure that the deal would be done, even when negotiations slowed down.

“I miss everything in Naples, my friends, the food... It’s my home, it has been for 12 years.

“I miss the San Paolo, hearing the fans cheer. I miss games like those against Juventus, which gives unique and extraordinary sensations like few others.

“If we’d been fighting for the Scudetto, maybe I wouldn’t have left because winning the Scudetto with Napoli, making Neapolitans happy, would’ve been incredible and something I wouldn’t have swapped for the world.

“The difference last season was that we dropped points when we shouldn’t have, while Juventus didn’t.

We didn’t lose the Scudetto in a hotel last season. Matches and championships are lost on the field, not in a hotel. And I think we lost it in Florence.”

The 31-year-old then gave his opinion on Lorenzo Insigne replacing him as captain, the Partenopei’s chances of Europa League glory and his prospects in China with Dalian.

“Lorenzo has always been No 1 and the best,” he added.

“I’m glad Lorenzo has taken my armband. They can go all the way in the Europa League.

We have the right cards, even if there are many formidable opponents like Chelsea, Sevilla, Arsenal, Benfica and Valencia, plus Salzburg.

“Finishing in the top eight would be a great achievement, but first we must think of survival.

“I’m here to help the growth of this team and club. We picked up a good draw in our first game and had 10 men for the whole game.

“My teammates put in good performances.”