You knew that Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis would not be able to stay quiet for long in the aftermath of Saturday’s 4-2 Super Cup defeat to Juventus in extra time.
Napoli were so incensed by the two red cards they received that they boycotted the trophy presentation and now ADL has unloaded to the Gazzetta dello Sport today.
“Am I still angry? Why no, just five minutes after the game I was calm again,” began the President.
“You know what I did after dinner? I gathered the team, I took them out to a club and we toasted them with 10 bottles of champagne.
“I told the guys to immediately cancel this Super Cup and to think about the games we are playing, the friendly with Olympiacos on Sunday and the start of the League in Palermo.
“Also, I decided to give each of them a bonus of €20,000, because they were the moral winners of this Super Cup, to me.”
De Laurentiis was asked if he dictated his players to not attend the trophy presentation or to collect their medals.
“This was an important game between two important squads representing many important fans, it deserved impeccable organisation.
“We will find it very difficult to verify the actions we have complained of, because the event has been entrusted to RAI and the Lega would need the state television to be using the same technology as Sky, which we have now become accustomed to.
“The Lega, although they have improved recently, still has an inability to organise themselves in an efficient and modern way.”
The President was asked again if he felt it was a mistake to boycott the trophy presentation.
“But no! What bothered me most is that the first real match of the season has been managed with an air of severity, which is typical of the Italians. That a penalty can possibly be debatable can happen and often it is not serious.
“One just on Saturday night was disputable, at least on a par [with Juve’s penalty awarded].
“Zuniga’s second yellow card is also unacceptable, among other things, he was first fouled. From there was born a possible understanding of conspiracy and, therefore, all the good that one will attempt will not stop us thinking that evil is present, because doubts assail you.
“I do not believe that [Juve were favoured, though], Juve are a great team made up of great players. However, if you sow the field with the irrationality, then it is clear that the two teams deal and communicate with in a different attitude, sometimes even arrogant.
“Here, doubts can take off.”
The Napoli boss was asked to explain what attitudes he felt were different.
“I know that the assistant referee took a Macedonian language lesson so as to send off Pandev, since the player spoke in his own language.
“The truth is that a little more common sense was needed. Just Rizzoli, I think, was insulted by Totti three times a few years ago and nothing happened.
“A comparison with Mazzoleni [the Super Cup official], Rizzoli was brilliant on that occasion, he realised that the adrenaline level had risen too high and it would be difficult to remain rational on the field.”
The Napoli owner then admitted that pulling his team out of the competition in future years is an option open to him.
“This Super Cup is worthless, as it is organised. The lingering bitterness is that we have lost a good opportunity to export the impeccable image of our football abroad.
“And for all this there are two – the League and Mazzoleni – whose behaviour did not do our football any good. It will mean that if I had to contest the Super Cup again I would ask for foreign referees.
“If Juve had one the game in an incontestable manner then I would be the first to applaud them and attend the trophy presentation.
“But at that moment I felt insulted and because I have a responsibility to our fans, I want to understand if there was something wrong with this game. Then, we’ll talk again.”