Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis discussed the Scudetto battle with Antonio Conte’s Inter and Maurizio Sarri at Juventus. “It’s like a film when we still don’t know the script.”
The patron spoke to the Corriere dello Sport in a lengthy interview and you can read the rest of his comments here.
He was asked about Conte’s statement that Inter first and foremost had to bridge the "enormous gap" with Juventus and Napoli.
“Conte, who I welcome back to Serie A, knows Italian football and continued to follow it even during his mission in England,” De Laurentiis said of the former Chelsea boss.
“He saw our progress at Napoli, that of a club which spent the last 10 years as a stable European fixture, and he showed honesty in underlining our merits.
“I will add that our desire to improve remains constant going towards the future too. Improving ourselves also means intervening to make changes in Italy and abroad to the football system, helping revenues grow so that we can become increasingly competitive.”
Was Conte right to suggest it’ll be another Juventus-Napoli fight at the top of the table this season?
“There has been a merry-go-round of Coaches that revitalised Serie A. It’ll be a fascinating campaign, with six or seven teams that are closer to each other, so we should see it become more intriguing.”
Sarri’s appointment at Juventus is the biggest shake-up of all, coming back from Chelsea to join Napoli’s biggest rivals after just a year away.
“It’s like a film when we still don’t know the script. It’ll be written as it goes along,” smiled the movie producer.
“Foreign owners are coming in, but the clubs that belong 100 per cent to Italian families – by which I mean Agnelli and De Laurentiis – build with a principle of guarantees that you don’t always see elsewhere. That’s an issue for us just as much as for clubs abroad.”
De Laurentiis has clashed many times with the local council over improvements to the Stadio San Paolo, but this summer there were finally radical changes thanks to funds for hosting the Universiadi – an Olympics for university students.
The seats have all been replaced with blue and white modern versions, maxi-screens were installed, floodlights changed and the athletics track painted blue.
“I like it, even if the stadium remains not very functional for football, because the athletics track is a real problem for any club. We need more work on the inside and I hope that happens on time.
“We’ve been forced to ask the Lega Serie A to play our first two games of the season away, just in case there are delays in the works. This just confirms that if the institutions would widen the possibility of private enterprise to intervene, everyone would benefit. But this is an old Italian cultural problem that has reduced the country to starvation.”