Lavezzi left club owner furious over "going drinking and visiting prostitutes"
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It's Ezequiel Lavezzi's 37th birthday, and according to Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis, the Argentine certainly knows how to throw a party.
The winger was signed by Napoli in 2007 after impressing for San Lorenzo in Argentina, and after a stunning debut season in Naples he was even dubbed as the 'new Maradona'. But although Lavezzi was explosive on the pitch, he liked to enjoy himself off it as well.
Lavezzi left Napoli in 2012 after a five-year stint with the Italian side, and he signed a bumper deal with Paris Saint Germain. But it was later revealed that Napoli owner De Laurentiis refused to increase Lavezzi's salary as he became frustrated with the star for "going drinking and visiting prostitutes."
The Argentine was clearly keen on securing a healthy salary, and his move from Napoli was a successful one as he won the league title in each of his four seasons with PSG. Lavezzi also won five domestic cups in France before moving to Chinese side Hebei China Fortune, pocketing a reported £10million-a-year salary.
But his excessive wage demands were perhaps to fuel a wild lifestyle that Napoli owner De Laurentiis was unhappy with. During a row over a new contract while Lavezzi was still at Napoli, the owner slammed the Argentine in an interview with ANSA.it., as he said: "Lavezzi can't say anything, and neither can his representatives.
"Someone who signs a contract for an established amount of time and money, which was then substantially improved six-seven months later, can't really ask for more. I am surprised by the immaturity of these professionals.
"Let one thing be clear: if you're a professional, you should always be a professional. If you're an athlete, you don't go out drinking or go to prostitutes. When you play, you defend a city's colors, and if at night you go out drinking and visiting prostitutes, you are betraying the city's people.
"Teams need to have an ethical code: if Lavezzi goes on like this, he will spend two years outside the squad, until his contract expires. He won't play and that would ruin his career."
But Lavezzi didn't ruin his career, and it was a rather successful one financially as he pocketed £30m in wages from his three-year stint in China before retiring. However, his lifestyle at 37 is rather different to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, who wouldn't even dream of drinking Coca Cola, let alone alcohol.
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