Lorenzo Insigne fought back tears during an emotional speech to the fans ahead of his final match in a Napoli jersey at the Stadio Maradona. ‘We celebrated, suffered and at times argued, but always together, like an enormous family.’
The game against Genoa kicks off at 14.00 UK time (13.00 GMT), you can follow all the build-up and action as it happens on the LIVEBLOG.
He has not been able to agree a new contract and instead is joining MLS club Toronto FC as a free agent from July 1.
His teammates fanned out in a guard of honour as he walked out onto the pitch with his two sons and was presented with commemorative gifts, a framed jersey from Dries Mertens, a painting from Kalidou Koulibaly, a trophy from President Aurelio De Laurentiis – who was booed by the fans.
“As you know, I am not good with words, but I wrote something down,” said Insigne.
“All I can say is thank you. Thank you to a city that gave me everything. I grew up here with you. We celebrated, suffered and at times argued, but always together, like an enormous family.
“I felt loved by the people of my land, of my jersey. Playing for Napoli was not just a marvellous experience, but also a huge responsibility that I accepted with love and pride.
“Any goodbye leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, but this one more than others. Leaving Napoli means leaving home, knowing I will miss this and you forever.
“Over the years, we amassed unforgettable moments that I will take with me. I always gave everything I had, but the biggest game, where there are no winners or losers, is the one we played together.
“Finally, thank you to all the fans of Napoli around the world, to all the teammates who became friends I could count on. Thank you to the entire staff who took care of me from the first day. To the club that made all this possible. To those who always believed in me.
“Thank you from my heart, Forza Napoli always.”
There were banners from both the Curva A and Curva B sections of ultras.
‘Your jersey weighed more than any other, because it belonged to someone who truly loved it. You wore it with creativity, courage and dignity, as a proud son of this city.’
Another read: ‘You conquered less than you dreamed of, was often insulted and given little consideration. You will always be remembered with affection by this Curva!’
Fittingly, the get-together was concluded with a giant bear-hug from Tommy Starace, the legendary kit and coffee man who has been working for Napoli since the Diego Maradona era.
GRAZIE CAPITANO! ❤️
— Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) May 15, 2022