Fernando Llorente thanked the Partenopei fans for their warm welcome to the club and the city as he was formally unveiled as a Napoli player at a press conference on Tuesday.
“I’ve not been here long but I’m already in love with Naples,” said the Spanish striker, who joined in the closing stages of the summer transfer window. “I wanted to play for a top side and Napoli are a world-class club. I had various different offers but Napoli were always my priority.”
Why did you choose Napoli?
“It wasn’t an easy transfer because I had to wait for three months, but I was desperate to come back to Serie A TIM and play for a competitive team in the Champions League. There’s a lot of work to do, but I’ll give my all. I’m here to help the coach and my team-mates: I feel in good shape physically and I know I can make a contribution to the team.”
Did Carlo Ancelotti call you to convince you to come to Napoli?
“It’s a great feeling when a coach like Ancelotti calls you. I was already keen on coming to Napoli, but when there’s such a successful coach involved you have no doubt that you’re making the right decision. Napoli is a big club with a great coach. I really wanted to work with Carlo so I’m delighted to be here.”
What contribution can you make to the team both on and off the pitch?
“I definitely have a lot of experience. I’m not the youngest anymore but I know what I’m capable of and I’m sure that I can show that. I’ve always scored lots of goals and I’d like to do that here too. That said, the priority is to be available and follow the coach’s instructions.”
This is your second spell in Italy. What are the differences between Juventus and Napoli?
“The first thing you notice here is how friendly the people are. I’m getting a lot of love from everyone – it’s great. Now I want to repay that by scoring lots of goals. They’re both great teams – Napoli have come on a lot recently. I just need to focus on training and giving 100%. I can’t wait to get started because I’m really confident and I believe in the dream we have here at Napoli. The dressing room is like a family and that gives you a boost.”
How can Napoli compete with Juventus?
“It’s not easy. When I was at Sevilla we beat them 1-0, with me scoring. I’ve beaten them before but it’s one thing to do it in a single game and another thing to do so over the course of a season. As I’ve said, I’m confident and I believe we can have a good season. Juventus are used to winning, but Napoli are their closest rivals. We have a very talented group with young players who will develop. I’m sure that we’ll have a team of top players in the future.”
There are plenty of Spanish players..
“That’s right. Fabian [Ruiz] and [Jose] Callejon are really helping me to settle in, but this is a beautiful city so I won’t find it hard to adapt. Naples is a very welcoming place.”
Would you prefer to win the Scudetto or the Champions League?
“I want to win. If I had the chance to choose, I would go with the Champions League. I’ve lost two finals so it would be amazing to win it.”
What were your first impressions of Naples?
“It was definitely love at first site. I was bowled over by the beauty of the place and the passion of the locals. I’m really happy here and I can’t wait to repay the people by showing what I can do on the pitch. I’ll give my heart and soul for this club.”
Why did you pick the No.9 jersey? It comes with a lot of history…
“I’ve worn the No.9 jersey at various different clubs and I’ve always scored lots of goals. I’m a centre-forward and that’s my preferred number. I don’t care about pressure. I just hope it brings me good luck here too.”
(Photo SSC Napoli)