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Kalidou Koulibaly
Gender Male
Ethnic Senegalese
Job Senegalese Footballer
Desc Jose Mourinho reportedly made a move for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly while at Manchester United, seeing a £95million bid rejected, but the 28-year-old might be available for much less now

Affiliation

Org Senegal National Team
Club as Player Napoli
  Genk

2019 06 24 Retrieve

[Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has not ruled himself out of a transfer away from the Serie A side as Premier League clubs circle] I don’t know [if I’ll still be at Napoli next year], I think so. but I have to play the Afcon and then after that I’ll go back to Napoli. Everyone’s speaking about me, but I’m only speaking about Senegal, because that’s my objective today and I want to achieve something big with Senegal.

[Koulibaly wanted to shift the focus from himself and transfer rumours to his national side] I don’t want to talk about my future today, I prefer to talk about Senegal. Senegal achieved something great today. I am 200 per cent with Senegal and 200% with the 15 million Senegalese people. I’m relaxed, I want to focus on the Afcon and after that return to Napoli and we’ll see what happens. The most important thing now is to win with Senegal.

2019 06 27 Retrieve

[Koulibaly says Italian authorities have to take stronger stance on racism] I realised some Lazio fans were making monkey noises whenever I touched the ball. It is impossible to know what you are supposed to do in this moment. There were times when I wanted to walk off the pitch to make a point, but then I told myself that this is exactly what they want. I remember thinking to myself, ‘Why do they do this? Because I am black? Is it not normal to be a black guy in this world?’. You are just playing the game you love, like you have done a thousand times before. You feel hurt. You feel insulted. Honestly, it gets to a point where you feel practically ashamed of yourself.

[The defender praised the response of referee Irrati, who consulted with Koulibaly as well as coaches and officials before allowing the game to go on. Despite Napoli finishing the game at the top of Serie A, Koulibaly left the pitch ‘very, very angry’, but sought out a young mascot that had asked for his shirt before kick-off. Eventually finding him in the stands, he was taken aback as the youngster apologised for the abuse Koulibaly had received during the game] This really affected me a lot. This little guy was apologising for I don’t know how many grown men. And this was the first thing he thinks about - how I was feeling. This is the spirit of a child. This is what we are missing in the world right now. I know that these incidents are not just happening because of skin colour. I hear what some fans call my teammates, too. They call the Serbian players ‘gypsies,’ they call even an Italian like Lorenzo Insigne ‘Neapolitan sh*t.’ We need to do better. An incident happens, the clubs make a nice statement, and then it happens again. In England, we see how much has changed. When the person is identified, they are banned from the stadium forever. I hope that one day it is the same in Italy. But I also think of the people doing this. How can you make the people change? How can you reach them in their heart? I do not have the answers for this

2019 06 27b Retrieve

[Kalidou Koulibaly says Maurizio Sarri dragged him from his wife’s bedside after the birth of his first son, only to put him on the Napoli bench] Sarri looks at me and says, ‘No, no, no. I need you tonight, Kouli. I really need you. You can’t go’. I say, ‘This is the birth of my son, Mister. You can do whatever you want to me. Fine me, suspend me, I don’t care. I am going’. Sarri looks so stressed, and he is smoking his cigarette. Smoking, smoking, thinking […] then finally he says, ‘O.K., O.K., you can go to the clinic. But you have to be back for the match tonight. I need you, Kouli!’.

I am getting ready to play, and Sarri comes into the dressing room and puts up the team sheet. And I am lookin… looking… looking. My number is not there. I said, ‘Mister! Are you kidding me?’ He said, ‘What? It is my choice’. I said, ‘Mister! My son! My wife! I left them! You said you needed me!’. He said, ‘Yes, we need you on the bench’

[Koulibaly did play, coming on for the final 22 minutes of the game as Sarri looked to close things out] Maybe you think this is a negative story. But for me, this story is everything that I love about Napoli. If I have to explain it, then you won’t understand. It is like trying to explain a joke. You just have to come to the city and then you will feel it. It is crazy, yes. But it is warm

2019 09 01 Retrieve

[Juventus (4) vs (3) Napoli. Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was left devastated by his injury time own goal that saw his side lose 4-3 to Juventus on Saturday] It’s an own goal that hurts me because it came after an incredible comeback. I’m sorry but I have to, we have to accept it: we are strong. We have shown that. We’re going to prove it

2019 10 10 Retrieve

[Koulibaly responds to transfer talk as Man Utd line up summer bid] I’m used to it. So many [stories] come out each day, which say I’m leaving. Right now, my only objective is to win with Napoli. I don’t care about the rest. Our objective remains to beat the best teams in Italy and win the Scudetto. This season is more difficult because all the teams have got stronger and Serie A has become more competitive. I haven’t made the best start to the season. Juventus remain the team to beat. For our part, we must work even harder, improving our game to get closer to them.

Our objective is to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage as soon as possible. We started well by beating Liverpool with a top performance. We regret not beating Genk, but that’s football. We must think positively and be aware that we can do well. My objective is to help the club and team win a trophy now

2019 10 18 Retrieve

[Asked about recent transfer speculation, Kalidou Koulibaly admits he’s used to getting plenty of attention and knows how to shut it out] I’m used to it. So many [stories] come out each day, which say I’m leaving. Right now, my only objective is to win with Napoli. I don’t care about the rest. Our objective remains to beat the best teams in Italy and win the Scudetto. This season is more difficult because all the teams have got stronger and Serie A has become more competitive. We must think positively and be aware that we can do well. My objective is to help the club and team win a trophy now