Here is the third and final part of Sarri’s revealing interview with Paolo Condò of Sky Sports:
On the team
We are an entertaining squad to watch. We play with skill and speed. We have some limits like not always being able to extract from a match everything we deserve. We don’t always get the right result. At the moment this is our limit. This year we are a much younger team but have to take that next step to improve our mentality.
On improving Albiol & Koulibaly
They are great players. Koulibaly has world-class physical abilities. He’s improved tactically. With Albiol we’ve worked on defending as a group because he was already playing at high levels. He has a good sense of position and loses very few balls distributing. He’s important to our offense like Koulibaly is important for his pure defensive skills. There are some players you can help improve from being good players to being great but a truly world-class player is born with it. You don’t build those players.
I’ve never had ill-feelings toward him. He’s unique, he needs certain things to give his best. I’ve always said that he is the best natural striker in the world. I asked a lot of him during training. He has to ask a lot of himself, I criticized him more than I praised him in private but in public I always praised him. This is what made his departure even worse. I didn’t hear from him for a while. I didn’t want to. Like a son that upsets you, you are mad but he remains your son. He made a questionable decision but that doesn’t mean he’s not a good person.
Hey’s a great kid. It’s easy to be around him, always smiling. At times you need to remind him of the proper way to act or think but he’s a guy you easily grow fond of. I expect a lot from him. He’s got great talent but can do more.
On the match against Real Madrid
Real Madrid is a team that can overturn a match in a matter of a few minutes. It’s a satisfaction to go ahead and play such an important match against what is perhaps the most important team in the world in one of the very best stadiums. There is the fear that they could take everything but I think even if they have something more than we do, we can play against them. One day I’ll be able to say I played in the Bernabeu for a Champions League match.
On wearing his tracksuit while coaching
Often people judge others by small details and not for who the person they are. I wear my tracksuit because I work on the pitch. It seems ridiculous to me to dress up in a wedding suit to stand on the field. If I have to represent the club in a social setting then I dress up. The president has always supported me. I’ve done everything my way even if at times I’ve paid for it. In the end though I was right.
Click here for Part I on his coaching origins and motivations
Or here for Part II on his arrival at Napoli, first impressions, ADL & calciomercato