On Sunday night after Napoli's brutally disappointing loss to AC Milan, Aurelio De Laurentiis canceled a planned day of rest for the squad, demanding extra training sessions to correct the mistakes the players have been making of late. Now, Rafa Benitez is going head to head with his boss, canceling part of what the club's president and owner had set as mandatory and sending players home from the Castel Volturno.
According to La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Rafa Benitez made the decision himself, rescinding De Laurentiis' command that the players bunk at the Castel Volturno Monday night for more training sessions first thing in the morning. That command apparently upset the players, as a report from Sky Italia suggests that they may have confronted Rafa over that particular matter.
So now Rafa has gone against his boss' wishes and sent players home, with lighter training scheduled tomorrow ahead of the long-planned club Christmas dinner. How this plays out will be interesting; there's already been some vaguely-worded reports that suggest that things might not be entirely copacetic between Rafa and De Laurentiis, something further reinforced by beliefs that negotiations to extend Rafa's contract have been tabled again. It's perhaps a little presumptuous at this point, but based on recent history at Napoli, we could be witnessing the beginning of the end of the professional relationship between Benitez and De Laurentiis.