SSC Napoli star Dries Mertens has revealed how the city helped him become an honorary napoletani, as well as discussing how a "scientific" Maurizio Sarri is getting the best out of the club this season.
The Belgian striker moved to Naples in 2013 following a six-year spell in Holland with Apeldoorn, Utrecht and PSV Eindhoven. Originally being tried as a winger, the decision to put the 30-year-old through the middle has made Mertens one of the most lethal strikers in Europe.
"I immediately fell in love with Naples and its spirit," Mertens told Corriere dello Sport. "Everyone is passionate about football, even the grannies.
"Naples embraces its players & makes us feel Neapolitan. I wake up with a coffee, look out to the sea & I feel happy. Nobody can take that away from me."
The former Anderlecht youth player was also full of praise for his Italian manager. Sarri, since taking over at the Stadio San Paolo in 2015, has guided Napoli to a place in the top three for consecutive seasons.
However, this year the Partenopei Gli Azzurri look to be on course to offer Juventus a serious title challenge.
"What has Sarri taught me? Football," Mertens continued. "He is a coach I really admire, well-prepared and even scientific in the way he analyses games.
"I really like how he prepares every match. It feels like he has already played the game and we have an extra man on the pitch"