The Italian business tycoon drew the ire of the African football community with his brutal transfer comments last month
Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has picked holes in the decision of Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis to abandon the pursuit of African players.
Italian businessman De Laurentiis had, in early August, in an interview with Smart Talk on Wall Street Italia, stirred up the hornets’ nest when he revealed he would no longer sanction the signing of African players.
He said, “I told them, lads, don’t talk to me about Africans anymore!
“We are the idiots who pay salaries only to send them all over the world playing for others.”
De Laurentiis insisted he would only be interested in signing African stars who agree not to represent their countries at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Fans, players, and coaches instantly hit back at De Laurentiis’ contemptuous statement.
Several football fans took to social media to express their angst at the Napoli President.
Super Eagles assistant coach Usman Abdallah also did not take De Laurentiis’ words lightly, lashing out at the Napoli boss for his disrespect to the African continent.
What is Jose Peseiro’s position on the debate?
Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has finally shared his opinion on the controversial topic.
In an interview with ESPN (via Lamezia Instrada), Peseiro faulted De Laurentiis’ decision, insisting that Europe cannot do without the limitless talents of Africa, America, and Asia.
“Napoli’s president has every right to make the decisions he wants,” Peseiro opined. “We live in a democratic world. We may or may not agree.
“The club has the right to sign the players it wants. But we know that Europe will need more and more players from South America and Africa. There is no way to turn away from it.
“There are fewer and fewer young people born in Europe and fewer and fewer young people playing football.
“I usually say that if football in Europe wants to preserve the purity, skill and imagination that is increasingly present in countries where football remains on the street, where children spend more time playing football than PlayStation.
“It is an indisputable fact: the quality of European football will increasingly depend on young people born in South America, Africa and Asia. I don’t see how this can be replicated in many clubs. They are indispensable if we want to play as we like to see it.
“Everyone who loves football in the world loves feelings. Unfortunately, due to the birth, the shared responsibility for what is happening to our young people in Europe, who have a lot to do, and football turns out to be just another thing, while in Africa and South America, it is still only football.
“Football is one of the most important things for young people and this gives them more potential to make the best and most beautiful game, which for me is the best game in the world.”
True to De Laurentiis’ word, Napoli did not sign any African player in the summer transfer window, save for André Zambo Anguissa, whose loan deal from Fulham was made permanent.