‘Respect Everyone’: Koulibaly Slams Napoli Owner Over AFCON Remarks

A photo combination of Kolibaly and Aurelio de Laurentiis.

 

New Chelsea signing Kalidou Koulibaly has insisted he will never let anyone stop him from playing football for Senegal.

The Senegal captain said African nations deserved more respect after the president of his former club, Napoli, said he would only sign African or South American players willing to miss competitions with their national teams.

“Don’t talk to me about Africans anymore,” Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis told business website Wall Street Italia. “I wish them well, but either they sign a waiver for the African Cup or else…Between that tournament and the World Cup qualifiers in South America, these players are never available!”

READ ALSO: Napoli President Wants African Players To Skip Cup Of Nations

But Senegal captain Koulibaly, who led his country to the Africa Cup of Nations title earlier this year before joining Chelsea in a reported £34 million ($41 million) move from Serie A side Napoli was unimpressed.

“Nobody ever told me not to go to AFCON or something like this,” said Koulibaly during a news conference Wednesday.

“Maybe sometimes they try to ask my manager or something like this.

“But me, now as captain of Senegal, when AFCON comes I have to be the first one there, the first one in Senegal.”

Koulibaly, who has signed a four-year contract with Chelsea following the purchase of the club by US businessman Todd Boehly’s consortium, added: “Nobody can tell me not to go to my national team. I have a lot of love for my national team, the team that I play for.

“So, if someone told me to do that, it would be the only time that I can fight with somebody.

“The way we feel all the time with my national team, we are all respectful, we wait for players to come from the Premier League, and everybody is happy to be here.

“Everybody thinks the same as me in the national team. If someone told them not to come they would always fight to come.

“This is the most important thing. Everybody has to give us respect.”

Koulibaly will bolster a defence now without Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen after they each left Stamford Bridge.

He will wear the number 26 shirt made famous by Chelsea great John Terry having sought permission from the Blues legend.

“I called John and at the beginning he didn’t believe it was me, he thought it was a joke,” Koulibaly explained. “So he called the team manager to ask if it was really me.

“I know that it’s a very important number for John, but it’s also a very important number for me too, because I took it at Napoli.

“And when he said yes I was very happy, because I know what he did for the club and for the supporters here.

“I wanted to tell everybody that I asked him before, because I didn’t want to disrespect a legend of the club.”

AFP

Napoli’s Koulibaly, Ghoulam Test Positive For COVID-19

File photo of Koulibaly and Ghoulam

 

Napoli defenders Kalidou Koulibaly and Faouzi Ghoulam have both tested positive for coronavirus, the Serie A club confirmed on Friday.

Senegalese international Koulibaly, 29, returned a positive after 30-year-old Algerian Ghoulam’s result was announced earlier in the day.

The club said that Ghoulam was tested on Thursday and later on Friday announced: “After swabs carried out this morning Kalidou Koulibaly tested positive for Covid-19.”

Both players are asymptomatic and will isolate at home, the club added.

The pair will miss Saturday’s league trip to Genoa with Napoli due to host champions Juventus next weekend.

Napoli then face Atalanta in an Italian Cup semi-final, second leg, at Bergamo on Wednesday.

Napoli were already without the club’s record scorer Dries Mertens to injury and midfielder Diego Demme is in doubt after taking a knock to the head during the goalless first leg this week.

Captain Lorenzo Insigne limped off during the game in Naples with a calf problem.

-AFP

Senegal Coach Names Squad For Super Eagles Friendly

Senegal Coach,  Aliou Cisse Names Squad For Super Eagles Friendly
Courtesy: leral.net

Senegal Coach, Aliou Cisse, has named a strong 26-man squad for the March 23 friendly against Nigeria’s Super Eagles in London.

Topping the list of players named for the friendly is Liverpool’s Sadio Mane.

Also in the Teranga Lions’ side are Everton’s Idrissa Gueye, Kalidou Koulibaly, Kara Mbodj, Cheikhou Kouyate, Henry Saivet and Diao Keita.

Cisse handed maiden call-ups to Moussa Wague, Adama Mbengue and former France U-20 international, Opa Nguette.

Senegal were quarter-finalists at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.