Former Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne was recognised with an award from CONI in Campania on Monday, after which he spoke of his love for his former club, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and aspirations of a return to the Italy national team squad. 

The former Partenopei mainstay spent 12 years of his career in Naples before joining MLS side Toronto on a free transfer in the summer of 2022. He is now into the second year of his four-year contract. 

Insigne’s return to Italy, however, was a celebration of his success with the Italy national team during the victorious Euro 2020 campaign. 

“It’s a great feeling to receive this honour, I’m very proud because it shows that we have achieved something important for our country. I hope we can relive the same glory at the next European Championships,” Insigne said to CalcioNapoli24 TV on Monday. 

Reporters then asked about Insigne’s aspirations in relation to the national team, and whether he has had any recent conversations with CT Luciano Spaletti on that subject. 

“I have a good relationship with the coach,” he replied. “Injuries have of course had a big impact, but I’m always available. It’s always an honour to wear the national team shirt, and, as long as I’m still playing, that will always be my goal. 

“I have sent him (Spalletti) a few texts to congratulate him on qualification, but nothing more. I always have to accept the coach’s choices.” 

On Napoli, and Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Braga, Insigne said: “I always hold Napoli close to my heart, because it is my city and I am the biggest Napoli fan in Canada, too. 

“I will always support the Azzurri, tomorrow I hope they will have a great game and that we qualify, because we deserve it for what we’ve shown in the group.”

Then, Insigne was asked about Napoli forward Kvaratskhelia, who hasn’t quite reached the same levels of form he showed during the team’s run to the Serie A title last season. 

“I feel sorry for him because I’ve been there too, they have to make sure Kvara is calm, because he is Napoli’s main man.  

“He has so much quality, but you have to look after him. I’ve also been there when you miss a goal and don’t win the game. But the fans will definitely support him.

“Last year my former teammates did amazing things for the team and the city, they will give him support.”

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