Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik has smashed his former boss Rafa Benitez – now with Real Madrid – for not training the squad hard enough.
Speaking with fans at a meet-and-greet, Hamsik was asked the difference between Benitez and his current manager Maurizio Sarri.
“There’s a big difference between Benitez and Sarri,” said Hamsik. “We work much harder now, both physically and tactically. Sarri is maniacal when it comes to tactical training.”
They are harsh words from a player who struggled for much of his two years under Benitez. Hamsik finished last year strong, but took about half the season to get going. In 2013, he began the league year with a brace in each of the first two games, but finished the year with just seven goals and missed a month with injury.
Hamsik also lost his penalty-taking duties under Benitez, but there’s talk that he could get them back as Gonzalo Higuain has struggled. “I haven’t taken penalties for a couple of years now,” Hamsik said. “Edi Cavani took them first, now it’s Pipita [Higuain]. We’ll see what happens in future.”
Benitez moved to Real Madrid this summer as the Spanish giants sacked Carlo Ancelotti despite Champions League success just a year ago. Back when Benitez made the move, Hamsik told reporters, “I am not angry with [Benitez], but next season I hope to have more playing time.”