CHELSEA boss Maurizio Sarri has been branded ‘sick’ by Napoli star Marek Hamsik.
The Blues manager swapped the Italian outfit for west London in the summer, leaving Naples after finishing second in Serie A last season.
Despite failing to win a trophy at the club, Sarri’s Napoli were praised for their expansive and attractive attacking football
Hamsik, among many others, flourished under the 59-year-old at the San Paolo Stadium during his three years at the club.
And the Slovakian has now praised Sarri, who he claims was a ‘sick man’ who was ‘obsessed’ with football.
“Sarri is a man who belongs on the field, he lived the game 24-7,” Hamsik told Corriere dello Sport.
“He was a sick man.
“He was obsessed with football and never even let the slightest detail get by him.
“What has improved me the most, has made me evolve technically and tactically, is Mr. Sarri.
“We are all happy with [Carlo] Ancelotti, as in a few short weeks he showed us that he is a wonderful, open person.
“He gives us a lot of advice, is good fun and it’s no coincidence he has won everywhere he went in his career.
“Everyone is a little sceptical after the summer friendlies, but we saw in the win against Lazio how much grit we bring to the table in competitive games.
“Napoli are still a good side that wants to play football and entertain the fans. We haven’t won much, so far, but we really want to.”
Sarri is preparing to face a familiar face this weekend, as Chelsea travel to Newcastle.
The Blues boss replaced Rafael Benitez at Napoli back in 2015.
And Sarri admits he has to thank the Spaniard for leaving him a team of stars in Italy.
“I have to say thank you to Rafa because when I arrived in Naples I had a feeling the team was almost ready to play my football,” he said.
“If I arrived after another coach maybe for me it was more difficult, so I have to say thank you to him.
“I know he is a very good coach. We know on Sunday it will be very difficult for us.
“These opponents are very dangerous for us; last season we lost 3-0, Manchester United lost there, Arsenal lost there, so we know it will be a very difficult day.”