Koulibaly makes Napoli promise after Ronaldo and Juve scotch trophy hopes

By Sports Desk January 21, 2021

Kalidou Koulibaly has vowed he and Napoli will come back stronger after the disappointment of losing to Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana.

A 2-0 defeat on Wednesday meant Gennaro Gattuso lost out to former Milan team-mate Andrea Pirlo in the battle of the coaches.

Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata came either side of Napoli missing a penalty, with Lorenzo Insigne off target from the spot.

Koulibaly, who has been among Europe's most coveted defenders in recent seasons, says Napoli will not be broken by the disappointment of missing out on the trophy.

The Coppa Italia holders, who beat Juventus on penalties to land that accolade in June, sit third in Serie A, with only Milan and Inter ahead of them.

"A defeat gets even harder to accept on the day after. But it doesn't last long," he wrote on Instagram.

"The desire to fight for new wins is stronger."

Koulibaly attempted more passes (63) and made more clearances (six) than any other Napoli player, with the game decided on fine margins.

Napoli, a point ahead of Juventus in Serie A, are back in league action when they face Hellas Verona on Sunday.

Related items

  • Chelsea striker Lukaku returns to Inter in loan deal Chelsea striker Lukaku returns to Inter in loan deal

    Romelu Lukaku has returned to Inter on loan after a disappointing first season back at Chelsea.

    The Belgium striker only scored eight goals in 26 Premier League appearances after his club-record £97.5million move back to Stamford Bridge last August.

    Lukaku's second spell at Chelsea took another turn for the worse when he said stated in an interview with Sky Italia late last year that he was not happy with his role at the London club.

    The  29-year-old declared: "I know I will return to Inter, I really hope so. I am in love with Italy."

    He has now got his wish, sealing a switch back to San Siro for the 2022-23 season less than a year after leaving for a huge fee.

    "We're back baby. I'm very happy, thanks for the compliments. Remember three years ago, we were here? We're back," he said in a social media video alongside Inter chairman Steven Zhang.

    Asked by Zhang whether he promises to 'score lots of goals at San Siro', he added: "That's what we're here for. I keep my promises."

    Lukaku will try and help Inter wrestle back the Serie A title from city rivals Milan after he played a huge part in their Scudetto triumph in the 2020-21 season, scoring 24 goals in 32 league games.

    During his previous two-year spell, no Nerazzurri player scored more goals (64), provided more assists (17) or created as many chances (133) in all competitions.

    The former Manchester United and Everton frontman formed a fearsome partnership with Lautaro Martinez under Antonio Conte as Inter lifted their first league title in 11 years.

    Lukaku is likely to also be joined by forward Paulo Dybala, who will reportedly join Simone Inzaghi's side after leaving Juventus as a free agent.

  • Lautaro Martinez agent rules out Inter exit: 'We're already at the top' Lautaro Martinez agent rules out Inter exit: 'We're already at the top'

    Lautaro Martinez will not leave Inter and is pleased by the return of Romelu Lukaku, his agent says.

    The Argentina forward has been linked with a host of clubs as former strike partner Lukaku returns to San Siro, including Tottenham and Chelsea, with Inter's attacking ranks having the potential to be bolstered further with the addition of free agent Paulo Dybala.

    However, despite considerable competition, Martinez's agent Alejandro Camano has made it clear his client will remain at the Nerazzurri and is delighted to reunite with Lukaku.

    "There's a link between them, that's evident. Wearing this shirt isn't for everyone," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "It's a great thing.

     

    "Lautaro is happy in Milan, he feels like he's at the centre of things, he's loved.

    "Why would we want to leave? To where? We're already at the top."

    Martinez was Inter's leading scorer in Serie A last season, when they finished second behind rivals Milan, and his tally of 21 goals was only bettered in the division by Lazio's Ciro Immobile (27) and Juventus' Dusan Vlahovic (24), who joined from Fiorentina in January.

    Inter commence their Serie A campaign on August 14 away to Lecce, with their first home game at San Siro coming the following week against Spezia.

  • Lukaku arrives in Milan ahead of Inter return Lukaku arrives in Milan ahead of Inter return

    Romelu Lukaku has arrived in Milan as he prepares to complete a return to former club Inter.

    Lukaku began a second stint at Chelsea last August after the Blues broke their transfer record to bring him back to the Premier League for £97.5million (€115m).

    But he was unable to recapture the form that persuaded Chelsea to secure his return, with injuries initially derailing his adaptation.

    Lukaku then struggled to suitably fit into Thomas Tuchel's tactical setup, with Kai Havertz ultimately preferred to the Belgian in attack towards the end of the season.

    His relationship with Chelsea and the club's fans was not helped by an interview he did with Sky Sports in December, during which he revealed frustration at his first few months back at Stamford Bridge and professed his love for Inter.

    Ever since, rumours of a potential return to San Siro have not gone away, and in the past few weeks a deal has looked likely.

    Reports recently began to suggest the two clubs had agreed a deal for Lukaku to return to Inter on loan for the upcoming 2022-23 season, and it would appear confirmation is imminent.

    Lukaku was filmed leaving Milan airport on Wednesday, posing for photographs with an Inter scarf before getting into a car.

    Inter are reportedly set to pay at least €8m (£6.9m) to take Lukaku on loan for the season.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.