Napoli defender set to miss Champions League clash with Barcelona

The Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly has attracted interest from a number of top European clubs due to some outstanding displays in recent seasons. 

However, the best and the most memorable among the viewers being the clash against Liverpool in the UCL in September 2019 but the player has remained with Napoli despite their disappointing season.

According to Sky Sport Italia, the defender has not trained properly and regularly since suffering a thigh injury in mid-December. 

In an official statement on the Napoli website, the club confirmed that Koulibaly completed gym work while the squad prepared for a match against Brescia on Friday evening. This confirms that he is not yet fit enough to feature in the first-team training. 

The news is a huge blow to Napoli and their fans, who were hoping that their vice-captain could regain fitness to help the team in their effort to beat Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16. 

 Kalidou Koulibaly (Image Courtesy:

Now it seems that the Napoli boss, Gennaro Gattuso will turn to Nikola Maksimovic to partner up with Kostas Manolas in defense.

Fernando Llorente is another player, who missed the session due to ‘flu-like symptoms’. However, as per the reports of Sky Sport Italia, Arkadiusz Milik is available for the game after missing out against Cagliari on Sunday. 

Napoli finished second last season under Carlo Ancelotti and he was sacked following a poor run of results in the next season. He was replaced by Gennaro Gattuso, who managed AC Milan between 2017 and 2019.

Napoli are hoping to take all the three points on Friday evening in an attempt to secure European football next season, being two points away from the sixth-placed Hellas Verona. 

They currently occupy the final Europa League qualifying spot. Thus, Koulibaly will be a huge loss and it will be a risky job for Maksimovic to fill in the boots of the Senegal international.


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