Stanislav Lobotka sees Napoli as “a step up in my career to a better and higher quality club” than Celta Vigo and thanks Marek Hamsik for advice.
The transfer was finally completed from Celta Vigo this afternoon for a reported €20m plus up to €4m in performance-related bonuses.
“I am moving from Spain to Italy, but primarily joining a club of a better and higher quality that has more ambitious targets, so this is a real step forward for my career,” Lobotka told the official Slovakia Football Federation website.
“People here perceive football differently from in Spain, they see it almost as a religion. Napoli are also active in Europe every year and here too I see it as a major career shift.
“It wasn’t easy to make a deal with Celta Vigo, but I’m glad that it all worked out in the end.”
There are reports that Slovakia international Lobotka was recommended to Napoli by club legend Hamsik.
“It’s true that Marek is viewed as a ‘God’ here. That’s why I am glad to come to the club where he played. I think that, thanks to him, I’ll have an extra warm welcome here. Marek Hamsik has given Slovakian football a good name in Italy and especially Naples.
“We did exchange some messages, Marek gave me a lot of advice and information about Napoli. He told me to by myself, because they paid good money for me and that means they believe in my capabilities.
“We also talked about living in Naples and helped me arrange everything here, as I will need this information after the birth of my daughter.”
There are other Slovak internationals currently playing in Serie A, such as Inter defender Milan Skriniar.
“We spend a lot of time together, but now will be rivals and that is something new for us. He was among the first who congratulated me after the Napoli transfer and said it was a step forward for me.
“I will try to earn my place in the starting XI, even though I realise it’s not easy. I do believe that I’ll enjoy my football more at Napoli, something that I missed at Celta Vigo recently. It’s a much larger club and the pressure is greater, but if a player wants to improve, he has to step up a level and I am not afraid.
“The Slovakia manager Pavel Hapal also told me it was a great step towards a top club and that will help me with the national team.”
Image credit: @sscnapoli