Sunday February 2 2014
Cannavaro 'forced out of Napoli'

Sassuolo signing Paolo Cannavaro admits he “wanted to end my career at Napoli, but I wasn’t given the chance. I stayed silent.”

The native Neapolitan is the little brother of Fabio Cannavaro and was captain of his hometown club, but left on transfer deadline day after Rafa Benitez made it clear he was not part of his plans.

“It hurts my heart to leave Napoli, as I wanted to end my career here, but I wasn’t given the chance,” he told Radio Crc.

“I go forward and remain proud of what I achieved. In the last six months I stayed silent. I could’ve said so many things, but I didn’t feel it was right, as I am a professional and silently accepted everything.

“My teammates were always behind me and I set an example for them, but at times you have to look elsewhere and I think it’ll do me good to play a bit.

“I am someone who in his career plays on average 40 games per season, so staying still for so long could affect the final spell of my career. This is why I chose, along with the club, to play for Sassuolo. As for the future, we’ll see.

“I want to thank everyone for these seven and a half very intense years at Napoli. I don’t want tears, but only smiles, because the Azzurro jersey brought me so much joy.

“Many of my teammates tried to change my mind and get me to stay, while kit staff and stewards cried for me. I’ll never forget those moments.

“My teammates know I am the Number One fan of Napoli and, now that I am far away, they have my admiration and trust. They will fight to the end to get Napoli high up the table.

“I want to salute everyone, including those people who pointed the finger against me. Your criticism never knocked me down, if anything I used it as motivation to respond on the field.

“I leave Napoli with a smile on my face. I hope it will only be a ‘see you again soon.’ Forza Napoli!”

Paolo’s brother Fabio was less generous and tweeted a scathing comment.

“All the best Paolino and compliments to those who made you feel like a stranger in YOUR OWN HOUSE!!!”