When Diego Maradona left Naples in disgrace amidst a medicine scandal, Napoli completed fourth. 16 years later, a fresh-faced Marek Hamsik got here into an aspect who had simply won automated promotion again into the highest flight. Two captains that embodied the Neapolitan spirit, however in their very own alternative ways.
Maradona, fuelled through famous person high quality, expectation and eccentricity briefly changed into a pace-setter. Hamsik alternatively idolised Pavel Nedved, however sought after to deliver pleasure to these within the area – now not realising he would pass on to wreck a report set through arguably their maximum influential participant of all time.
To have a look at, the Slovakia world is each bit your modern day footballer. It’s the extravagance of his haircut (a mohawk you’d go along with a lead singer of a Scandinavian heavy steel band), his trousers are regularly studded with leather-based or spikes and he boasts a variety of glasses maximum outlet retail outlets would envy. Then there are the numerous tattoos. An habit to ink, together with the coordinates of his place of birth, Banska Bystrica – subtly beside an eagle and a snowflake.
Record these items in combination and Hamsik comes throughout as relatively the extrovert. A bit of on your face. Brash. Possibly making an attempt too laborious. However that couldn’t be farther from the reality. At the back of the specifications and spikes is an understated, softly spoken persona. His post-match interviews are at all times measured and there’s a knowledge concerning the Slovakian past his years. The values this 30-year-old holds expensive are old-school. Reviewing his profession, it’s obvious romance isn’t useless in his family.
This season is his 11th in Napoli colors. Signed from Brescia following their promotion again to the highest flight in 2007, Hamsik has been ever-present, the consistent of Aurelio de Laurentiis’ time on the membership. Europe’s elite used to ceaselessly come and watch him, captivated through an concept of what he would possibly develop into. It was once en trend to speak about the participant Napoli enthusiasts christened Marekiaro as a brand new Frank Lampard and why now not? He regularly completed the season as Napoli’s most sensible scorer. It’s good to just about ensure Hamsik getting into double figures.
Over time, different signings got here to hog the limelight and scouse borrow the headlines on the San Paolo. It by no means put Hamsik’s nostril out of joint. He was once handiest too glad to percentage them if it intended Napoli had been a hit. Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani, Gonzalo Higuain; at some degree every of them changed into the face of Napoli with out ever being the person. As a result of that’s Hamsik. Certain their stars will have burned brighter, eclipsing him in brief, however Hamsik is just like the solar. When Napoli enthusiasts rise up within the morning, they know he’ll be there. They don’t imagine Hamsik Slovakian. They see him as one in every of their very own like Lorenzo Insigne. The place Lavezzi, Cavani and Higuain gave into temptation, Hamsik at all times resisted.
Had he so desired, he will have long gone to Juventus, Milan or one in every of England’s most sensible golf equipment, earned a daft wage each and given himself a greater shot at profitable silverware. Doing so would have ensured Hamsik the next standing and larger acclaim. As an alternative, he selected to devote himself to Napoli. In contrast to the group’s different stars, you gained’t discover a buy-out clause in his contract. Hamsik is an exception on this regard. All the time has been. As a result of he sought after it that means. “This blouse has develop into my 2d pores and skin,” Hamsik advised L. a. Repubblica.
Successful a name here’s price ten of the ones gained through the massive 3. He has lifted the Coppa Italia and Tremendous Cup as captain, finishing an extended trophy drought. However the trophy Hamsik actually covets is every other. “My undertaking will handiest be whole with the Scudetto.” A undertaking Lavezzi, Cavani and Higuain concept inconceivable.
“I’ve the entirety I’ve ever wanted in Naples, and in Italy” he advised the Avid gamers Tribune remaining month.
“Soccer is essential to me, and as a way to play for Napoli has been one of the most largest honors of my existence. However the explanation why I’ve stayed see you later is ready greater than soccer. In Naples, I’m a part of group — a circle of relatives — that holds an overly particular position in my middle. I wish to have greater than only a paycheck and trophies. I wish to really feel one thing in my soul. Naples gave me that, and I’m ceaselessly thankful.”
Hamsik changed into Napoli’s report goalscorer – overtaking Maradona within the procedure – due to his smartly taken strike towards Crotone, which took place to be his 117th function for the membership, within the 17th-minute, of their remaining event of 2017, while dressed in the jersey quantity 17. A fantastic fulfillment, originally, however in the long run piece of historical past created through a participant maximum deserving.