‘It’s time for a new adventure’ – Koulibaly bids farewell to Napoli ahead of Chelsea move
The centre-back is set to leave the Italian club after eight years of exemplary service
Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has sent a farewell message to fans at the Serie A club ahead of his scheduled departure. The Senegal international’s next destination will be Chelsea, who are set to seal a €40m (£34m/$40m) transfer in the coming days.
Koulibaly has become a favorite at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona since arriving from Genk in 2014.
The centre-back has long been linked with a move to one of Europe’s financial powerhouses but ultimately decided to pursue his career away from southern Italy.
What did the defender say?
“June 1, 2014, an unforgettable date: my arrival in Naples, the beginning of a story of pure love. I was a shy boy, but with a great desire to show the world that I could do it!” Koulibaly explained in an Instagram post.
“Victory, defeat, joy, disappointment. Too many emotions experienced together: impossible to summarize them. But I keep everything: in my head, in my heart.
“My two children were born in Naples. I met people who will always be part of my life and who made me and my family feel at home: from the first to the last moment. Thanks to you, Naples , I became the man I am today.
“Thank you to the club, the president, the coaches, all my team-mates and all the people I have had the pleasure of working with over the years. Thank you, Napoli and Neapolitans, for all the love we have for each other given.
“I am proud to have honored you with everything myself and I will continue, indefinitely, to carry you in my heart and to nurture one of the most important feelings for me: respect. You were everything to me. I have to leave and get back in the game: it’s time for a new adventure. Go Napoli forever.
A living legend of Naples
The Senegal ace has been a rock at the heart of Napoli’s defense since joining the club.
In eight seasons, Koulibaly played a total of 317 games for the club in all competitions, scoring 14 goals.
He also won two trophies with Napoli, the 2019-20 Coppa Italia and the 2014 Supercoppa, while guiding the team to three Serie A runners-up and five Champions League appearances.
He will go down in club history as a true legend, while promising to bolster Chelsea’s defense with his talents following the exits of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger.