The eccentric president of Napoli, Aurelio De Laurentiis Photo: EFE
Aurelio De Laurentiis is the faithful reflection of the Italian leader: when he speaks he does not disappoint (or does), and always leaves several titles. This time on the news there is the boss of the Neapolitan cast for a controversial statement in dialogue with Wall Street Italy. The Napoli president hit UEFA and, coincidentally, the African players connected.
And it is that this interview with the leading portal in Italy was rather oriented to the economy and finances of his club, but the speech began to focus on football and De Laurentiis did not want to say anything. First he started talking about the European football calendar and launched: “We idiots lend ourselves to play about 50 games a year“.
De Laurentiis and some controversial statements, exploded in the networks. (Photo AP / Marco Vasini)
Critical of those who manage Uefa and FIFA today, and increasingly inclined to the possibility of creating a parallel European championship, the president of Napoli, who has a fortune of 50 million dollars, declared: “They should work for us and not the other way around. We have lost 200 million euros in the last two years. The world of football does not know how to manage itself, it creates theater for others “.
Although, despite the talk of a possible parallel championship, De Laurentiis is far from throwing flowers to the European Super League project that had such an impact last year. “That was an invitation-only competition and there were some clubs that were privileged over others,” he explained.
The boss of the Italian club came out to meet the FIFA driver. (EFE / EPA / FRIEDEMANN VOGEL)
“The top 5 countries must have their own tournament. Enough with these fake competitions like Champions, Europe and Conference League. We have to create competitions that are played for a week. among the 5 best European championships “, he added, and there the controversy arose: African players.
“Don’t talk to me about African players. Either they sign a contract giving up the right to participate in the African Cup tournaments or between AFCON and South American leagues … or I don’t sign them. I never have them available. They will play outside while we pay them“.
The Napoli president has bet against the Africa Cup. (EFE / EPA / LUCA ZENNARO)
And when it comes to the privileged, the 73-year-old leader not only points to the teams that have tried to promote the Super League, but also accuses himself of the leaders of the World Cup. Regarding Qatar, he says: “It is the state that pays the galactic salaries of PSG because it continues to extract oil. So they had the power to postpone the World Cup to November, making life very difficult for the club: this year it will be like playing two championships.“.
And the statements on African players come a few days after the farewell of Kalidou Koulibaly, one of the leading figures of Napoli in the last decade. The Senegalese defender joined Chelsea for over 40 million euros. And if anything is clear, it is that his replacement will not be African.
Gianni Infantino, Aurelio de Laurentiis, and a distance that seems to have no return. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)
To close, the Neapolitan president spoke of a latent possibility: that of selling the club to an investment fund. This practice is becoming more and more widespread in Italy, but De Laurentiis warns: “The funds are after me. The Americans have offered me 900 million in the past to sell the club, but I still have fun and don’t want to retire. I want to be the 12th man on the pitch. “