Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis seemed to take a dig at Juventus’ €112m signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, while discussing the “right recipe” for success.
The Partenopei are currently in second place in the Serie A table and a staggering 13 points behind undefeated leaders Juventus after 24 matches.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side appears to have gone up to an entirely different level this season after narrowly beating Napoli to the league crown last term by a mere four points.
A large part of this has been credited towards Juventus’ capture of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo last summer from Real Madrid in a sensational €112m deal.
The Portuguese forward has since embarked on a brilliant start to life in Italy by scoring a league-best of 19 goals in 24 games along with adding eight assists in the process.
But De Laurentiis thinks it’s unwise to spend such a massive amount of money in search of silverware.
“There is this habitual feeling of the fans being disappointed in the stadium. We’ll fight to the end,” De Laurentiis told Sky Sport Italia.
“If someone falters at the first hurdle, then he is a failure in life. If he doesn’t want to be a failure, he keeps fighting to the end. It’s not just he who finishes first that wins. We all win if we play with capability and fervour.
“Sorry, but if I had created a 200million debt to sign one player, what would be the point in winning? Let’s think of the right recipe for success, here.”
The Italian film producer does, however, feel sympathy for ex-Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri, whose future in charge at Chelsea is in a lot of doubt following their recent setbacks.
The duo could be reunited for the first time since Sarri left the San Paolo Stadium in the Europa League final this season with both Napoli and Chelsea having progressed to the last-16 stage.
And De Laurentiis would relish a final against Sarri and Chelsea at the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan in May.
“It would be fun to play Chelsea in the final, assuming of course that Sarri can hang on that long…!” said the Italian.
“I hope he does stay there and do very well, because Sarri loves his work to the point of madness. At times this can lead him to lose his temper, but that is to be respected.
“Sarri gave a great deal to Napoli. Some might not always be able to share his vision of football, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses, otherwise, we would not be human.”