Monday Feb 12, 2018. 18:00
Napoli players have dedicated their 4-1 Serie A victory over Lazio this past weekend to injury-stricken Algerian left-back Faouzi Ghoulam.
The North African was expected to make his return to the matchday squad for the encounter, having been sidelined since November after tearing ligaments in his knee, but in training on Friday he suffered a fracture of the kneecap.
Ghoulam underwent surgery on Saturday and is expected to return to training again in a month’s time.
Napoli’s victory over Lazio at the Stadio San Paolo kept them on top of the Serie A log, and Ghoulam’s teammates said the win was secured in the Algerian’s honour.
“The Roman team [Lazio] is very good but I think we had a good match in the second half. We dedicate the victory to Ghoulam. We are sorry for his injury, we also played for him,” said Marek Hamsik.
Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly added, "Great victory dedicated to our brother Faouzi. To force Naples always, force Ghoulam, my brother. Congratulations guys!”
Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri explained that the injury suffered by Ghoulam in the build-up was difficult for his team to handle.
"The team grew up, it became more mature. [The team] manages to overcome difficulties such as this injury of Faouzi Ghoulam which shook us emotionally. Sincerely, the last two days have been tough but we have shown tremendous solidarity to surpass ourselves. He has all our support,” said Sarri.