Marek Hamsik has claimed that he might have remained at Napoli if they were challenging for the Serie A title this season.
The former Napoli captain left the club in January to join Chinese Super League team Dalian Yifang, departing as the club's all-time appearance holder and goalscorer, cementing himself as a legendary player in their history.
The Scudetto evaded Hamsik throughout his time at the club, however, with Juventus' domination of Serie A too difficult to overcome.
Speaking as quoted by Il Matino - first about his new home - Hamsik explained: ''The Chinese League is very different from Serie A. Here the level of football is lower and also the tempo is different. I don't consider myself a star.
"I received a warm welcome but I want to be treated like everyone else. Our goal is to avoid relegation - finishing top eight, however, would be a great achievement.''
The 31-year-old also reminisced about his spell in Naples when he made the assertion that he would not have left if Napoli had been in the midst of a title challenge.
He added: ''I miss the food, my friends and much more. Naples was my home for 12 years. I miss the warmth of the people and the joy of San Paolo.
"Their game against Juventus? Napoli dominated that game, so I can't say that Juventus are out of their league. However, the points dropped against other teams are the difference-maker. Juventus rarely drop any points.
"If Napoli had still been in the Scudetto race, maybe I would have stayed. Winning the Scudetto in Naples, making all the Neapolitans happy, would have been amazing. I wouldn't have missed that for anything.''
On his departure, Hamsik said: ''It wasn't like I always imagined. I was subbed off against Sampdoria but I didn't know how things would go. It was fast, immediate. I agreed to the move in a short time and then discussed it with my teammates.
"Then the negotiations went on for a bit longer but I knew that the clubs would have reached an agreement eventually. I'll return to Naples to properly say goodbye to the fans. Some Chinese clubs showed interest in me in the past too, but I didn't feel ready to leave. This time it was different.''