"The first time I started calling him 'Coach' he was stunned," revealed the defender in the Gazzetta dello Sport.
"But it is the right thing to do. I'm friends with Ciro and we even run a charity foundation in Naples together, but now he is my Coach and he has to make his tactical choices."
The pair are not only long-standing Bianconeri figures, but also both hail from the poorer areas of Naples.
"I am proud to be Neapolitan. We have something more, it is a city with a unique aura and way of living, even if people can joke about it. There are insults from the stands, but that's just trash talk, it's not racism."