Kalidou Koulibaly has been talking about Rafa Benitez and the other managers he’s played under at Napoli.
It was the now Newcastle boss who plucked the defender from the lowly Belgian league and helped turn him into one of the top defenders in Serie A.
It was summer 2014 when Napoli paid £8m to Genk for the player and he has been first choice ever since.
Sarri and Ancelotti have followed Rafa Benitez into the Napoli job and Kalidou Koulibaly admires all three bosses he has played under.
The 27 year old Senegal international declaring ‘Rafa Benitez allowed me to discover real football.’
Kalidou Koulibaly talking to Corriere dello Sport:
“Rafa Benitez and Ancelotti have a pretty similar style of football.
“I was also fortunate enough to play with Sarri and his football was truly wonderful.
“He allowed me to see football and games in a different way. His philosophy was concentrated on tactics, it was all predicted and planned with him.
“Today, when I watch a game involving any other team, I don’t see it the same way as I did four or five years ago. I owe that to Sarri.
“Rafa Benitez allowed me to discover real football. I was in the French second division, then Belgium, but he gave me the opportunity to come to Serie A for the first time, a truly important league.
“His football is very similar to that of Ancelotti, because they are Coaches who have won a great deal, worked at top clubs and their visions of the game have many crossovers.
“Everyone knows what Ancelotti has done in his career, but what surprises me the most is the humility he still has and the desire to keep winning.
“He is a really good man and I thank him, because he gives me the desire to keep going, to grow and to prove I am a stronger player every day.
“I hope to do great things with Ancelotti, because he ensures everyone feels they are believed in and trusted. I don’t think you’ll ever hear a player speak badly of Ancelotti, as he has real values and makes everyone feel calm.
“I always tell my wife that when I reach his age, I hope to be a man like Ancelotti.”