Dear Napoli fans,

In the past few weeks our love has been a bit messy or “scumbinato” as Pino Daniele sang in one of his wonderful songs. Even in the most beautiful and intense of stories, moments of crisis can occur.

All those who hold Napoli dear to their hearts have had a very difficult 12 months. They have been the hardest of my career. Going from the indelible joy of winning the Scudetto to the sadness of a season in which we could not achieve anything was a difficult pill to swallow. I could sense your disappointment and my team-mates and I were not able to change the course of our year.

I’ll admit, I toyed with the idea of leaving.
I could feel your unhappiness towards me and, as the president said, I had felt abandoned by the club. After the decline we experienced on the pitch, it was all understandable: your anger, the club’s frustration, my confusion.

My relationship with my agent Mario Giuffredi goes beyond just the professional sphere. He sensed my discomfort and he did his job, seeking to protect me and act in my interests. There’s no one happier than he is that I’m staying at Napoli.

However, that awful season has now passed.
I’ve listened to what President De Laurentiis and Antonio Conte have had to say. I’ve spoken with both of them over the past couple of days and, without making useless claims and empty promises, the message that I can give to you is very simple: I can’t wait to start again. I feel like I am one of you.

There may be other difficult moments, but I will never forswear what the city, the fans, and the club, through President De Laurentiis, have done for me and my family. Being captain when we won Napoli’s third Scudetto, the first without Diego, is not only an honour, but also a responsibility. I could not leave like that, after an unbearable season for the shirt that we wear.

I’m disappointed with everything that happened, but let me repeat, that is now over. Now, ahead of me, I see only the pride of being able to wear this shirt that I love, the armband, the desire to show Italy the real strength of Napoli, and to relive those thrilling emotions of 2023.

Our city deserves to feel that joy again. We’ve got work to do and I assure you that we will do it with an angry face, as our coach said. It’s time to pick our heads up. We all have to do it together. I’ll see you at Castel Di Sangro and then, of course, at the Maradona.

I’m looking forward to seeing you by our side. As always.

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