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 By Ben Gladwell

Juventus' Gonzalo Higuain: I left Napoli because of Aurelio De Laurentiis

Gonzalo Higuain says he left Napoli because of their president Aurelio De Laurentiis, saying their relationship had become untenable.

The Argentinian spoke for the first time on Thursday since completing a €90-million move to Juventus, and he said that his relationship with De Laurentiis was one of the main reasons why he even entertained the idea of leaving Naples.

At the same time, he wanted to thank the people of Naples and the fans who had idolised him during three years with the Azzurri.

"I've remained silent in recent days, but these have been three amazing years and I can only say thanks for all the love I was given, but this was a decision I took for my own reasons," he said. "I can understand that they are angry with me and I've seen the insults, but it is something I had to do and I'm happy about it.

"[Napoli coach Maurizio] Sarri made me grow and he has been a great coach for me, and if he's angry about me leaving without saying goodbye to him, then I apologise -- I can only thank him.

"It was my decision to leave, but it was [De Laurentiis] who pushed me into making it. I'd like to thank the fans and my teammates, but not De Laurentiis. I no longer had a relationship with him; I couldn't stand another minute with him."

Those three years now belong to the past with Higuain closing that chapter and opening another which he hopes will be filled with success.

"This is an immense joy and it still hasn't sunk in," he said. "I hope to make the most of this opportunity and prove that it was worth it. You have to make decisions in life and this wasn't an easy one, but I said yes to Juve because they are a club convinced they can win and reach any objective, including the Champions League.

"Our objective has got to be to win the treble -- a dream we've got to work hard on realising."

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.


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