Kalidou Koulibaly talks up Ancelotti relationship and Napoli’s target

Kalidou Koulibaly Napoli
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The Partenopei are aiming for greater feats after starting their 2018-19 campaign on a winning note at the Stadio Olimpico

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has described Carlo Ancelotti as the most humble person he has ever seen.

Following  Maurizio Sarri's departure in May, the Italian gaffer succeeded him at the helm in a three-year deal.

However, the Senegal defender who extended his stay at the Stadio San Paolo this summer has refused to compare both coaches, though, noting the difference in career paths.

Ancelotti started his reign with a 2-1 win over Lazio last Saturday and the 27-year-old believes they can ‘go all the way’ to surpass last season’s second-place finish in the league.

“The objective this season is to go all the way, but we just got a new coach and have a lot of work to do. Ancelotti has a different vision of football and is humbler than perhaps any player here. I’ve never seen anyone so humble,” Koulibaly told TV Luna.

“I don’t like making comparisons. Ancelotti won so much and proved he is among the best coaches in Europe, while Sarri started his professional career late in life and is now doing very well in England.

“Napoli did great things with Sarri and we hope to do even better under Ancelotti. I tell the Napoli fans that I am very happy to be here, we are working for you and I hope that you’ll cheer us on even during difficult moments.

The Teranga Lions centre-back has established himself as fans’ favourite with series of fine defensive displays since he joined Napoli from Gent 2014.

And he stated his happiness to remain in the city with his family despite reported interests from Chelsea and Manchester United this summer.

“I have grown so much over these five years at Napoli and was also fortunate enough to become a father in this city," he continued.

“I am very happy to have become a fan favourite, as it's difficult to see a player remain in a team for that long nowadays. I feel the faith of the coach, staff, teammates, fans and everyone. Hopefully, we can have a great year.

“I love so much about Naples, but I had a few problems with all the lovely food when I arrived and put on weight! The people of Naples are so welcoming and happy to see me. My family and my brothers feel at home here too, we've got the best and most encouraging fans.

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“I've never experienced any racism in Naples. My wife and son are happy here, we've got no reason to leave. Naples reminds me of Senegal, as when a foreigner arrives, everyone does their best to help him out.”

Napoli welcome AC Milan to the Stadio San Paolo on Saturday and the defender is confident that they can give a better performance than their opening day win over Lazio.

“We had a few problems with Lazio, but we’re working to be at 100 per cent as soon as possible. We hope to give the fans a great performance at the San Paolo against Milan," he concluded.