Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis urged fans to be ‘patient’ with Victor Osimhen, hit back at kit design complaints, former coaches, the Government and UEFA.
The patron attended the first pre-season training session today, in which striker Osimhen scored his opening goal.
“The fans ought to be patient with him, because Osimhen hasn’t played in seven months and still needs to get to know Italian football,” De Laurentiis told Radio Kiss Kiss.
“I urge the fans to give him time and space, so he can help the team. Rino Gattuso won’t give anyone an easy time. I see every now and then the media say I paid €47m! Evidently I ought to start publishing the contracts. In Germany, where they are very reliable, they always talk about gross wages and not net.”
This wasn’t the only message the President had towards Napoli supporters.
“We’ll put the new kit on sale from August 27. I saw your complaints, but someone who complains cannot be a real Napoli fan. We chose the red colour of the sponsor along with designer Kappa because it had the most aesthetically pleasing design.”
Napoli are so far the only Serie A team to have fans attending pre-season training, thanks to ticket sales and social distancing to keep COVID-19 at bay.
“I hope that we can open the stadiums up very soon too, because playing behind closed doors is an own goal for all of Italian football. You are offending millions of fans who could then turn their backs on you, so be careful.”
De Laurentiis also had a message for ex-Napoli coaches Maurizio Sarri and Carlo Ancelotti.
“Gattuso lets nobody off the hook. If you want to prove yourself for this club, you have to give everything, not be semi-resting the way we had in the recent past…
“It’ll be an interesting season, as Juventus have Andrea Pirlo, Inter have reinforced, Roma are under new ownership, Fiorentina will try to do better in their second year.
“However, it’s pointless spending money if we then have to play behind closed doors, it’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard! Just because we’ve got the Euros coming up next summer doesn’t mean we have to destroy the club teams by playing three times a week.
“Nobody ever raises their voices to complain. UEFA are supposed to be working for us, not us working for UEFA. I want to see what happens when knee ligaments start popping all over the place.”
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