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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Chelsea's Maurizio Sarri found out he was dismissed as Napoli manager on TV

Italian had two years left on contract after leading hometown club to challenge champions Juventus for title last season

Maurizio Sarri is excited about being in England and managing outside his native Italy for the first time in his career. EPA
Maurizio Sarri is excited about being in England and managing outside his native Italy for the first time in his career. EPA

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri revealed on Friday that he found out he was dismissed from his previous club Napoli on television.

Sarri had two years left on his contract after leading his hometown club to challenge champions Juventus for the title last season.

But after Sarri asked for more time to consider his future, former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti was appointed as his successor at the Serie A runners-up.

"We were having dinner ... discussing whether or not to stay," Sarri, 59, told Il Mattino. "We turned on the TV and we saw Ancelotti entering Filmauro [the headquarters of Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis].

"I had some doubts, that's fair, but there was a clause in the contract and it wasn't something I had asked for. The timing wasn't respected.

"Now I hope that Ancelotti can achieve what I came so close to."

Napoli won their last Serie A title during the days of Diego Maradona in 1990.

Sarri - who took over from another Italian Antonio Conte at Chelsea - has won his first four games in England.

"I didn't win anything in Naples. Conte here has won [Premier League 2016/17] and it is difficult to take his place," Sarri said.

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"Here it is totally different: it is an absolute party. I sign autographs for the fans of the opposing team on the sidelines, before and after the match.

"There are games with so much intensity, physicality. The English game is a different football from the Italian one, played in extraordinary stadiums.

"But at the beginning it's not so simple to understand things. I know less about the teams I face and the opponents."

It is the first time that Sarri, who started out as a banker, has managed outside Italy.

"Close up [life in Italy] is full of problems. But when we are far away, there is a bit of nostalgia and something is always missing.

"More than all the food, even though I'm getting used to the meat and salmon here. But I can't find anyone who makes coffee like Tommaso [Napoli coffee maker]."

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