Napoli head coach Gennaro Gattuso said Sean Connery did not want him to leave Scottish giants Rangers as he remembered the legendary actor.
Connery – best known for his role as fictional British secret agent James Bond in the iconic film series between 1962 and 1983 – died aged 90 on Saturday.
The Scotsman was also a Rangers supporter, while previously serving as a member of the board at Ibrox.
Gattuso – a Champions League and Serie A winner with Milan and World Cup champion with Italy – spent a year playing for Rangers before returning to his homeland via Salernitana in 1998.
Asked about Connery following Napoli's 2-0 loss to Sassuolo on Sunday, Gattuso told reporters: "I only met him once, the president back then was David Murray, he was a member of the board.
"It's true, we spoke on an evening and he absolutely didn't want [me to leave]. What can I say?
"A very big hug to his entire family, the people who represent him, surely I've got beautiful memories of him, very fascinating, great man, he made history in cinema."
Napoli were upstaged by high-flying Sassuolo, who stayed second and within two points of unbeaten leaders Milan.
Manuel Locatelli and Maxime Lopez scored in the second half to leave Gattuso's Napoli fifth and five points off the pace.
Locatelli converted a 59th-minute penalty to become the youngest Italian with two or more goals in Serie A this season, and the youngest player with a penalty goal in the competition this term.
Sassuolo have collected 14 points from their first six games in Serie A – a record for the club after their first six matchdays in a single top-flight season.
"We mustn't listen to people talking about the Scudetto," said Gattuso, whose Napoli edged Real Sociedad in Europa League action on Thursday. "We'll try to get into the top four. It's a very strong league this season, every team is smart, they change their shape, and it is really difficult to find a way through.
"I see my Napoli team. We're not as sharp as we were before, but with a game every two, three days, that's only to be expected."