Chelsea: Kalidou Koulibaly bites back at Napoli owner lack of ‘respect’ over his shocking AFCON rant
‘Not everyone has the same idea’: Chelsea’s Senegalese star Kalidou Koulibaly bites back at Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis’ lack of ‘respect’ over his shocking AFCON tirade
- Kalidou Koulibaly has responded to Aurelio De Laurentiis’ extraordinary rant
- The Napoli owner criticized the lack of availability of African players because of AFCON
- Senegalese defender Koulibaly, 31, won the Africa Cup of Nations in February
- The center half moved from Napoli to Premier League club Chelsea this summer
Kalidou Koulibaly has criticized Aurelio De Laurentiis for a lack of ‘respect’ after the Napoli owner lashed out at African players in an extraordinary outburst.
The 73-year-old film producer bizarrely criticized their lack of availability throughout the season and questioned why they should pay their full salary.
And Koulibaly, who moved from Napoli to Chelsea this summer, snapped back at De Laurentiis at a press conference when he was revealed as a Blues player on Cobham’s training ground on Wednesday.
Kalidou Koulibaly (above) scolded Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis for lack of ‘respect’
The 73-year-old film producer denounced the lack of availability of African stars throughout the season
Senegal captain Koulibaly, who moved from Napoli to Chelsea in July, won AFCON in February
He said, ‘It’s up to him whether he wants to tell this. But for me it’s important to always respect everyone. When I played there [Napoli], I also played for Senegal. I won the AFCON when I played in Napoli. It was indeed a difficult moment for them when we went to the AFCON, but we won it and I am very happy today.
“We also want respect for the African national teams. We need respect for them, just like the European national teams. As captain of Senegal, I don’t think it’s a good way to talk about the national team, but I respect what he thinks. If he thinks the team can play without African players, then it’s up to him.
“I don’t think everyone has the same image of the club as he does. I know everyone there. I know the supporters and they don’t think like that. I know some people who are part of this association and team who don’t have the same idea as him.
‘It’s not the idea of society or the city, because the city is very respectful to everyone. I think these words are what he thinks and not what the city or society thinks.’
The veteran defender, 31, made a £34 million move to Stamford Bridge in July after the Blues lost to centre-backs Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen for free.
Aurelio De Laurentiis wants to be able to dictate when African players represent their country
Napoli made Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s loan permanent, despite AFCON lurking
De Laurentiis has made many controversial headlines during his 18-year possession of Napoli
Koulibaly is considered a cult hero in Naples after eight successful years, including the 2019-20 Coppa Italia and the 2014 Supercoppa Italia.
De Laurentiis insisted he loves Napoli’s African players but regrets having to pay them so much for the time they are gone.
“I told them, ‘Guys, stop talking to me about Africans!'” De Laurentiis said during a streamed event.
“I love them, but either they sign something confirming that they won’t compete in the Africa Cup of Nations again, or between that tournament, the World Cup qualifiers in South America, these players are never available!
“We are the idiots who pay salaries to send them all over the world to play for others.”