Aurelio De Laurentiis is the Napoli chairman and a famous Italian film producer. And what he’s producing right now is pure RAGE.
After a Coppa Italia loss to Lazio and a run of five Serie A matches without a win –virtually killing Napoli’s Champions League hopes – De Laurentiis seems to be threatening to kidnap his own players, cancel their vacations and make them run around till they collapse. Well, he’s in the movie biz. The guy knows all about drama.
“I have decided that if there is no change in course between now and the end of the season, the players will go to a training camp … for an unlimited period of time,” he said.
[Cue dramatic music. Camera pans in to show close-ups of Gonzalo Higuaín and Marek Hamšík looking horrified]
It’s my decision. I want discipline. I have never failed to pay salaries or even delayed them. I have spent 386 million euros on the purchase of players in 10 years and I demand commitment. I dislike the idea of a training camp as part of the club’s philosophy, but Naples is a city which is full of distractions. I demand that they work with me and for a common purpose, with full commitment to the fans and the city.
Since going to a training camp is uncomfortable in a city such as this, I hope that [the threat] awakens some pride in the players.
Maybe they’ll be forced to watch some of De Laurentiis’s films on an endless loop. (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, anyone?)
As for the future of head coach Rafael Benitez, who’s out of contract at the end of the season…