Football Serie A

Ancelotti: Napoli for the long haul

Carlo Ancelotti believes he could stay at Napoli for a long time. “They have the characteristics to let me do so.”

Ancelotti has become something of a footballing nomad in recent years, lasting no more than two years at a club since leaving Milan in 2009, but the former Real Madrid boss feels he has found his calling in Naples.

“Football should be a game,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It was born as a game and that’s how children live it, but in this country football isn’t so much a game. It’s more of a smokescreen.

“It’s also revenge for Neapolitans, a sort of redemption from the sense of abandonment that this city has legitimately felt for centuries.

“For me, it remains a game. It’s beautiful and, exciting. I still enjoy it, I still do it with passion.

“I hear a lot of people in football say they can’t sleep because of the pressure, but I always sleep.

“I like many things about Naples. Obviously there’s the landscape and sunshine, but there’s also the Gulf of Naples, with Capri in front of you.

“There’s the Vesuvius: you wake up in the morning and you have this exciting photograph in front of you.

“The Neapolitan people are very helpful and don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re cheerful, helpful and open people.

“I also like the passion behind this team, the passion and respect. Everyone thinks Naples is always exuberant and vocal.

“I like to go into the city, I walk down streets, into restaurants and no-one has ever bothered me. Neapolitans are very respectful. Maybe it’s because they think I’m a bit old…

“I’m from the north, but I feel good in the south. The fog form the memories of my childhood, which I’ll never forget. I’m the product of my surroundings.

“I’d like to stay here very much. Perhaps Napoli have the characteristics to let me do so for a long time.”

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