It's smiles all round as Napoli unveil Gonzalo Higuain and Pepe Reina before pre-season match
Duo are introduced to the home crowd ahead of their friendly against Galatasaray
Tuesday 30 July 2013
Both Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis and manager Rafa Benitez were in attendance as the club unveiled new signings Gonzalo Higuain and Pepe Reina before their 3-1 pre-season victory over Galatasaray.
The Serie A fans were in good voice to welcome the latest signings, who watched from the sidelines as Napoli secured victory over the Turkish club, who despite taking part in the 'friendly' managed to end up with nine men.
Higuain was officially confirmed as a Napoli player having completed his £34.5m move from Real Madrid. Premier League side Arsenal were also in the running for the Argentinian striker, but refused to meet Real's valuation after they hiked the price up from £23m.
Having sold Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain for £55m, Napoli were able to meet the asking price, and despite a few issues over personal terms, completed the deal before their match last night.
Reina's move was also confirmed after he sent an open letter to Liverpool fans expressing his disappointment at being shipped out on-loan without being consulted, although Reina had pushed towards the end of last season for an exit from Anfield after Barcelona were breifly interested in the goalkeeper.
Liverpool reacted to sign Simon Mignolet for £9m, meaning it would be financially impractical to keep both shot-stoppers on their wage bill, and made Reina available where his former manager at Liverpool Rafa Benitez snapped him up.
Reina appeared relaxed as he jogged out and waved to the crowd, but the dust was still settling on Merseyside following the release of his comments, with many Liverpool fans unsympathetic towards his exit, claiming he couldn't express his desire to leave then claim the victim when he did.
Rafa Benitez is introduced to the Napoli crowd after taking over the manager role with the club.
Nevertheless, fans still thanked him for his time with the club, who he joined back in 2005 when Benitez was in charge.
Napoli got off to a winning start yesterday thanks to goals from Goran Pandev, Juan Camilo Zuniga and Lorenzo Insigne, with Nordin Amrabat replying for the visitors. However, Galatasaray saw both Dany Nounkeu and Fernando Muslera sent off in injury time, meaning they finished the 'friendly' with just nine men.
New signing Gonzalo Higuain is introduced by outspoken club president Aurelio De Laurentiis, after the striker is unveiled following the completion of his £34.5m move from Real Madrid.
A minute's silence was held before kick-off after a bus crash in nearby Irpinia on Sunday left at least 38 people dead.
Both Napoli and Galatasaray head to London this weekend to take part in the Emirates Cup, with Higuain set to show Arsenal fans what they are missing.
Pepe Reina is announced as Napoli's latest signing, with the Liverpool goalkeeper joining the club on a season-long loan.
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