Former Juventus manager Fabio Capello believes Kalidou Koulibaly is Napoli’s answer to Cristiano Ronaldo but doubts they can revive their Serie A title bid.
The 27-year-old has established himself as one of the most respected centre-backs in Italian football since arriving from Belgian side Genk in 2014.
Koulibaly’s impressive performance at the heart of the Napoli defence has seen him being linked with a transfer to Manchester United across the past few months.
Partenopei president Aurelio De Laurentiis even claimed that a bid of €105m had been received for the Senegal international last summer.
Therefore, Capello has no doubts who is the Ronaldo of Napoli.
“Without a doubt Koulibaly,” The Italian told Il Mattino.
“He’s a monstrous, talented defender. Right now, he’s among the best in the world.”
On the other hand, Capello doubts that Koulibaly and Napoli will be able to stop Juventus from winning an eighth successive league crown this season.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side currently sit in second place in the league standings and 13 points behind the runaway leaders with another 13 fixtures remaining.
“The title race can’t be restarted on Sunday night because I think it’s already over,” said the five-time Serie A winner.
“Still, it’ll be a spectacular, fun game and involve two of the best-coached teams. There’s still a big gap between the sides, despite Napoli doing everything possible to get closer.
“Taking Ancelotti is a clear sign of that, yet it’s just as clear that there’s a gap to be filled by not only Napoli but also the other teams in Serie A.
“On the other hand, if the best team of them all sign Ronaldo in the summer… Who besides Napoli can stop this tyranny? In short, Inter because I know Suning.
“They’re a worldwide force because they have huge financial might behind them, and to get to certain levels, where Juve are, you need such resources.”
Napoli’s title credentials will be put to the test on Sunday when they host Juventus at the San Paolo Stadium in what is a must-win match if Ancelotti’s men are to retain hope of winning the Serie A.