ALVISE CAGNAZZO: Napoli will be very relieved they didn’t sign Cristiano Ronaldo this summer | Daily Mail Online

    ALVISE CAGNAZZO: Napoli had the chance to sign Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer… after their stunning start to the season and his bombshell interview, the Serie A side will be very relieved that the deal didn’t go through

    Wherever Cristiano Ronaldo goes, he expects the team to fall in line. It’s a trait that has made the Portuguese forward both one of the greatest footballers in history and one of biggest transfer risks for potential suitors in January.

    With his reputation at Manchester United well and truly tarnished following this week’s explosive bombshell interview with Piers Morgan, a handful of new destinations have been speculated, with Serie A leaders Napoli being one of them.

    Talks breaking down this summer between Ronaldo and Aurelio De Laurentiis’ team has been a blessing in disguise for the Italian side, who sit undefeated at the summit of the league after chalking up 41 points in 15 games.

    Cristiano Ronaldo’s bombshell interview with Piers Morgan looks likely to see him trying to find a new club in January

    Napoli, who have not won the Italian title since the days of Diego Maradona, were no doubt tempted to lure yet another world class superstar to their ranks, but Luciano Spalletti’s side seem to have profited more from a fully committed team approach.

    Fans need only look at the impact Ronaldo had on Juventus. His self-centred eagerness to be the main man in Turin hampered their team ethos as a result, and Juventus seem to be experiencing the hangover to this day.

    As an example, set-piece maestro Miralem Pjanic was forced to stop taking free-kicks upon the Portuguese forward’s arrival and ultimately chose to leave Juventus.

    Meanwhile, Ronaldo ended up recording his longest series of free-kicks without a goal, striking 72 wayward efforts before finding the net.

    Napoli are a well-oiled machine, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It hasn’t work out for Ronaldo in his second spell at United, and in many ways Spalletti shares a similar philosophy to Erik ten Hag, who succeeded in transforming Ajax into a slick and well-drilled outfit before arriving in Manchester.  

    Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti has a similar philosophy to Man United boss Erik Ten Hag

    Ronaldo has always looked to impose his game on the team without ever adapting to the technical needs of his coaches, but at 37, time is catching up with him. The excellent relationship he had with Massimiliano Allegri, the manager who uses fewer tactics in Europe, is proof of how Ronaldo does not enjoy being trapped in tactical systems and frustrating hierarchies.

    With Ronaldo, Napoli would have neutralised the talent of breakthrough star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia who occupies the favourite role of the Portuguese forward, and would certainly have weakened Victor Osimhen’s impact in the centre of the side’s attack. 

    Ronaldo would have been like kryptonite for a team that has moved eight points clear at the top of Serie A thanks to having a squad and manager all singing from the same hymn sheet.

    Ronaldo is an emperor without a kingdom

    Napoli’s decision to abandon all negotiations with Ronaldo in the summer has produced excellent results, giving power to all players rather than one individual.

    Today in Napoli, everyone is happy that Ronaldo did not find an agreement with the club. With him in the team, conflicts in the dressing room could have occurred, creating division in the squad. 

    Ronaldo is an emperor without a kingdom. Spalletti has always hated training self-centred stars and his tumultuous relationship with Francesco Totti at Roma is the clearest example of the coach’s difficulties in having to deal with stars.

    Napoli’s summer transfer window made it clear that there are no untouchable players. Lorenzo Insigne and Kalidou Koulibaly, the captain and vice captain, departed the club, Fabian Ruiz was sold and Dries Mertens, Napoli’s all-time leading goalscorer, was moved on. 

    At the moment, Napoli are relying on new stars, with Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia the protagonists in the team.

    Victor Osimhen has become a star for Napoli this season, starring in the lone striker role

    Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has also been a revelation since joining Napoli in the summer

    Ronaldo would not have usurped Maradona as Napoli’s King

    In Naples, Ronaldo would have been in the shadow of Maradona, especially with the murals dedicated to him after his death. 

    Without social media, Maradona conquered Naples and Italy without any need for marketing, instead making everyone fall in love with his way of playing and winning without ever making the other players feel inferior.

    There is only room for one King in Naples, and Ronaldo would have never been able to move Maradona off the throne if he’d have moved to joined Napoli.

    Ronaldo would have struggled to come out of Diego Maradona’s shadow if he’d joined Napoli

    ALVISE CAGNAZZO: Napoli will be very relieved they didn’t sign Cristiano Ronaldo this summer

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