Saturday February 26 2011
De Laurentiis: 'New Maradona in Africa'

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis is looking to the future of football. “Everyone seeks the new Diego Maradona and we could find him in Africa.”

The patron believes clubs must widen their search for new talent and stop spending millions to buy confirmed stars.

“Everyone seeks the new Maradona, so one must be smart to find him at the age of 15 or 16, perhaps in Africa as well as Brazil and Argentina,” De Laurentiis told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Right now we have Edinson Cavani, who has just turned 24 and is the Serie A Capocannoniere.

“Is it difficult to keep him at Napoli? I'd hate to think money was the only important thing. Cavani is an idol for Napoli fans, as many identify themselves with him, hold him up as an example and love him.

“He has a long contract and is a God-fearing athlete, so he won't want to disappoint those who made him a hero.

“The idea of bringing in Cavani from Palermo came from a meeting with Walter Mazzarri and also the excellent rapport I have always had with President Maurizio Zamparini.

“I believe Mazzarri's greatest strength is a deep knowledge of football, both in theory and practice. In his substitutions, he combines logic with necessity.”

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