Kalidou Koulibaly is a name well-known to most football enthusiasts. The 28-year-old Napoli centre-back is one of the best players in the world in his position, and he has the stats and claims to back it all up.
Of course, he has spent the vast majority of his career over in Naples in Serie A, already registering 232 games for his team and scoring ten goals and assisting a further five in the process.
Watch Tottenham Hotspur Videos With StreamFootball.tv Below
But this is definitely not what this 6 ft 5 colossus is all about and it’s his defending prowess that makes him stand out from the rest.
Given his talent, Tottenham Hotspur’s reported interest, per El Desmarque, comes as little surprise.
The report claims one of Jose Mourinho’s demands is that Spurs bring Koulibaly to the club, though Real Madrid are also interested in signing him.
And with that being said, maybe it’s time for us to find out what experts who know him best have to say about his abilities and how good he actually is…
Having played for many of Italy’s best, Stendardo certainly knows both the league and its players inside out. Of course, he never had the privilege to play alongside Koulibaly, but he seems to believe the centre-back is right there among the best in the world.
In an older interview with Radio Kiss Kiss last year, Stendardo hailed the Senegalese defender for his athleticism and his improvement in recent times, as per Football Italia’s quotes:
“Koulibaly is currently the best defender in the world. The only one who gets close to him is Sergio Ramos, who is in my view physically inferior to the Napoli man, who is a perfect athlete.”
“He improved so much over the three years under Maurizio Sarri when it comes to playing with the ball at his feet, becoming very good at building moves from the back.”
Boban is currently among the staff of AC Milan but back when he was also a pundit with Sky Italia, the now 51-year-old Croatian icon showered Koulibaly with all sorts of praise, emphasising his character and technique in the process.
Apart from his obvious physical attributes, Boban also highlights his abilities on the ball that made the Napoli man into a true champion at that point already.
Per FourFourTwo, Boban was quoted saying:
“Koulibaly’s improvement isn’t notable, it’s extreme.”
“For me, he’s among the best in the world and he can still improve. He’s matured in everything; character, technique… he now comes out with the ball in such an impeccable way and is always physically dominant. I think Napoli have uncovered a champion.”
The man who probably knows him the best is none other than his current manager, Ancelotti.
And having coached some great teams and great players in his rich career, he definitely knows what he’s talking about. Napoli’s boss has even compared Koulibaly to some of the greatest defenders of all time.
He said, as quoted by 90min:
“Surely he is among the greatest I have trained like Thiago Silva, Sergio Ramos, [Alessandro] Nesta, [Paolo] Maldini, [Fabio] Cannavaro, [Lilian] Thuram, [John] Terry. At the moment he is certainly among the best in the world.”
If Mourinho truly is on a lookout for a quality defender who ticks all the boxes, Koulibaly is definitely the right man.
This Senegalese giant is formidable and ruthless in his approaching but also quite capable and skilled on the ball. At the age of 28, he is entering the prime years of a defender and could very well lead Spurs’ defence for a long time in the future.
Elsewhere, AC Milan could get their attacking spark back by landing Frank Lampard’s ace…