In San Paolo, the stadium of Naples, Kalidou Koulibaly will rise again this Tuesday against Neymar, Mbappé and consorts of PSG, during the Champions League. The central defender of Napoli, 27 years old, made headlines in spite of himself in February 2016 when Didier Deschamps said he was interested in him in view of Euro 2016 … Even as the French-Senegalese, 11 capes with the Blues in under 20, had opted for the Senegalese selection six months earlier.
Today, it is good for his performances that the native of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges is talking about him. "Here, Koulibaly is considered here as the best defender of the Serie A, reports Marco Giordano, journalist with Radio CRC Napoli. Technically and physically, it's huge. He is a leader not by the word, but for his enormous potential, which gives confidence to the whole team. Many even think he is currently the best defender in the world. Carlo Ancelotti estimates that he is at the level of three players he trained: Paolo Maldini, John Terry and Sergio Ramos … "
A target of racists
It was Dominique Bijotat, then coach of FC Metz, who launched it at 19 years in the pros (2010-11), associated with Fallou Diagne, 2 years older, today in Konyaspor (Turkey). "He was dismissed by FC Metz during his training and he returned to 18 years. Sometimes, some are not mature enough for adventure. He was a very serious kid, always in the right mood, a valuable quality for a defender. At times, he gets tricked by some rogue Ligue 2 attackers, but rarely twice. He was ambitious, but demonstrated it by deeds. I knew he would reach level L1 without worry. But that he succeed as well in a major foreign club, I admit that I had not measured. "
In Italy, the influence of "KK" extends to the stands. "He is one of those who have suffered the most from racism on the ground, insulted against Lazio Rome in 2016 in particular, says Giordano. The tifosi of Naples have united to defend it. Socially too, he made things happen here. "