Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso believes his struggles with an eye disease has had an impact on the team who extended their winless run in Serie A to three games with a 1-1 draw against Torino on Wednesday.
“For a month now there have been rumours that I am dying, but don’t worry, I am not dying,” said the 42-year-old former World Cup winner.
“I suffer from an auto-immune disease, myasthenia,” he explained of the illness that affects the muscles which control the eyes.
“Seeing double is a big difficulty and I haven’t been myself for a month. I think the lads also suffered because of this.”
Captain Lorenzo Insigne struck late to rescue a point against their rock bottom rivals as Napoli dropped from third to fifth in Serie A, nine points behind leaders AC Milan.
The southerners have taken just one point from the last three league games and were also held in their last two Europa League games.
But on Tuesday they won their appeal after being handed a 3-0 defeat and a one-point deduction for failing to turn up to play Juventus in Turin because of coronavirus cases last October.
“We arrived at this (Torino) game exhausted, we have so many tired players,” said Gattuso, whose side lost to Inter Milan and Lazio in the last week.
“We’ve been playing every three days for four months.
“You need to have your legs, muscles and head ready, even I with the eye problem am not myself.
“This is the third time this disease has hit me in 10 years, but it will pass, my eye will return to its place and I’ll be more beautiful than before.
“I’ve struggled a lot, now I’m a little better, but I was very tired and I was seeing double.
“Only a madman like me would keep going,” added the former AC Milan and Glasgow Rangers midfielder.