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.”



  • Kenny

    I think that Rafa deserves better than the schit he takes under the Fat [email protected]
    King Rat would give Lewis Hamilton a bogie and expect him to win F1 races.

  • Geordiegiants

    My hope is that the fans don’t turn on him like they did Sir Bobby. Even if his style is not your cup of tea, he is a very very good manger and respectful person, he is also as vocal as possible about the fatcunt and is very much with the fans.

    • Kenny

      Only the idiots will turn on him.

      • Mrkgw

        So, an opinion which differs to that of your own renders someone an idiot? Really?

        • Wor Lass

          Like any manager, Rafa can be criticised but I`d say that anyone who thinks our troubles as a club would be solved by changing the manager is an idiot.

          • Toontaff

            There’s a guy called Alan free!

          • Angelswithdirtyfaces

            so that’s £6m off the wage bill for Rafa.. Is he a BOGOF offer ?

          • Mrkgw

            I make no secret of the fact that I feel that Rafa frequently gets his tactics and team selections/substitutions wrong. Also relating to some transfers ‘if’ likes of Murphy, Atsu, Joselu, Rondon, Manquillo, even Slimani were his choices. I was 100% behind his appointment but am growing disillusioned with his ways albeit, Ashley is a massive factor for any Manager to overcome. But, feeling this way doesn’t make me an ‘idiot’ as the blanket statements inferred by some imply. Nor, are others who are perfectly entitled to air their views.

          • Wor Lass

            When a manager`s given peanuts and forced to grub around in the bargain basement he`s going to have to take risks. It`s too early to judge Rondon but he wasn`t an inspiring signing. I think most fans were keen on us signing Murphy and Atsu at the time. Manquillo and Joselu just aren`t good enough but they give 100%. Slimani was just a complete write-off but I don`t think we can blame Rafa for that.All roads lead to the fat barsteward and his lying, penny-pinching ways. I think he has to shell out in January, unless we`re already doomed by then, so it`ll be interesting to see who Rafa targets if he has a real budget to operate with. For the record, I disagreed with Rafa`s treatment of Mitro, I think he should be quicker to introduce youngsters to the matchday squad and that he should be more positive in home matches. But he`s the manager who`s won a shed load of trophies, got us up as Champions at the first attempt and took us to 10th place last season. I respect anyone`s opinion who, like you, takes the trouble to justify it.

          • Billmag

            If Rafa had been at any other club in the Premiership than ours there is no way he would have signed Manquillo or Joselu.

          • Kenny

            Those players were forced on the manager, Jesus how stupid can you get.

          • Carverlier football

            Bargain bin signings are hit and miss by their very nature. The hit-to-miss ratio of Rafa’s signings are pretty much exactly what I’d expect, and you wouldn’t find another manager with a better hit rate. If we’d spent as much as Fulham, for example, I’m sure we’d be doing much better than them right now.

          • mentalman

            There have been many transfers made by clubs around us for exactly the same amount or very similar amounts that have been more hits than the buys rafa has made

          • GlasgowMag

            Like who!! Our main transfer activity was around loan deals and buying bargain bucket players from relegated clubs!! So who else in the premiership has followed the same model and have had the success with players you had indicated!!

          • Billmag

            You probably won’t get an answer to that, Rafa wanted his business done well before the season started, what did he get, a loan player a few days before the start of the season, he’s been undermined right through the summer by the greedy fat one.

          • Carverlier football

            Such as? For every hit you come up with I could come up with a miss, or a so-so. Bearing in mind some of these were bought for a Championship campaign, Rafa has both hits (eg Dubravka, Fernandez, Clark, Daryl Murphy, Gayle, Lejeune, Diame) and misses (eg Selz, Lazaar, Ki, Manquillo, Joselu, Diame again). In the £9m and under range, there will be very few clubs with nothing but unqualified successes…

          • GlasgowMag

            The problem is we basically don’t have the quality of player to play attractive attacking football!! I have also heard a lot recently about Rafa should just go for it at home and play less defensively. Well one team I would draw your attention to is Fulham with your hero Mitro!! I had watched them at the weekend on MOTD and they opened up and went for it against Bournemouth now that went really well didn’t it!! Rafa is doing the right thing with the resources available being tight at the back and I can guarantee if we open up our play like Fulham against both Watford and Bournemouth we will get destroyed on the counter attack!!

          • Billmag

            Spot on, Rafa doesn’t show his emotions but the way things are going will be killing him inwardly, the man just hates failure.

          • Geordiegiants

            I have said this before but here we go anyway.
            All managers are paid massively to make decisions, we as fans get glimpses of how a player is playing, behaving and reacting.
            If our decisions were going to make the difference the fatcunt would employ one of us, there is no doubt about that. Rafa is a proven winner and has always had to make difficult decisions his whole career, successful managers are exactly that because they make different decisions to the masses.

          • Mrkgw

            Thats fine – I completely respect your opinion unlike one or two on this site who choose to turn viscious at the mere hint that someone dares to differ, disgrace. In fact, I honestly thought that chav like behaviour was reserved for our NE neighbours. Perhaps one or two have defected.

          • Angelswithdirtyfaces

            in your humble opinion… cough

          • Mrkgw

            I have to cough – cripes, so many here are easily upset. Not surprised many of the old faithful packed up and went. Dare to differ and your head is bitten off!

          • Billmag

            You can pick as many holes as you like with Rafa but this club is better off with him than without him that’s for sure.

          • Mrkgw

            Maybe. But, it doesn’t preclude a manager from questions or, an amount of criticism. Everyone has their preferences. Times have changed granted, but I suspect that I was spoilt by the good old days of KK and SBR.

          • Billmag

            Well Ashley hacked off KK and I’m pretty sure he would have done the same to SBR, by all means criticise the manager if you want but your post the other day called for him to be sacked I think that’s out of order, but if that’s your choice fair enough.

          • Mrkgw

            I stand by the view that I feel that the club should look elsewhere as Rafa has for me, run out of ideas. Not saying that its all his fault but thats my view. Hardly blasphemous is it? Some people are too easily rattled. But, for as long as he is here then I will continue to support the team.

          • Geordiegiants

            That’s about the size of it👍

        • Cushty lad

          Don’t take any notice of the north easts Joey Essex mate.

          • Kenny

            F”k off you scum vermin troll

        • Kenny

          if you think Rafa is not up to managing a football club then yes you are an idiot, also i block idiots & trolls so thats you and the scum Cushy lad blocked

          • Mrkgw

            Well, that’s up to you of course and I doubt either of us will be overly perturbed by that. Whatever happened to rational debate eh?

      • Geordiegiants

        Well there seems to be plenty of them at the minute.
        It’s not rocket science is it?

    • Billmag

      And very well respected in the football world, just one or two people on this forum that see him differently (Cuckoo Clarko being one).

    • LEE

      09THere is 2 sides to his record, while he has won a lot of trophies, his football style has always been the same, if he is not in a position to be able to win anything, why would you want that? Yes its great to say he was real Madrids manager before us, but he was sacked because of his football after only 6 month with some of the best football players money can buy, like wise at Milan.
      At Liverpool, 06/07 07/08 08/09 he played more long balls than any other team by a long way.
      his treatment of players has not always been great, he creates problems with boards to get fans on side, these are all documented by ex players.

      he has bought a lot of extra time because of his past, but for me that time is up, his style of football has gone, and teams are attacking a lot more, even Jose is struggling with a crazy expensive squad.

      times up

      • Geordiegiants

        Fair enough that’s you view but answer this. Who will replace him? Im not asking who you want, I’m asking who you think the fatcunt will replace him with?

        • LEE

          well that’s a loaded question, you answer he will never get him or he is not good enough, Rafa has 4 gazillion trophies.

          you answer who you want as an owner, you can’t, you just want him gone.

          well that’s me with Rafa, he has a good history, but his football is terrible and his coaching seems to be terrible.
          i watched derby play chelsea of the pitch, footballing wise the other night with a brand new coach, take a chance like we did with KK.

          • Geordiegiants

            Loaded question? How is that?

  • Toontaff

    We got battered by Watford at home, last season, after losing to Bournemouth with an injury time goal, after missing a lot of chances in the first half – sound familiar?