Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Hamsik receives gift from Maradona as record-breaking Napoli star scores 117th goal

SoccerNews in Serie A 30 Dec 2017

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Marek Hamsik revealed he received a gift from Diego Maradona as the Napoli captain added to his record haul for the Serie A leaders.

After surpassing Maradona’s long-standing goalscoring record for Napoli last week, Hamsik netted his 117th goal in Friday’s 1-0 win at Crotone.

Hamsik – wearing the number 17 shirt – broke the deadlock in the 17th minute as Napoli extended their advantage over reigning champions Juventus to four points ahead of the weekend’s action.

Before the clash at Stadio Ezio Scida, Hamsik told Sky Sport Italia: “Surpassing Maradona’s record was an achievement, but now what counts more is to win the game and get all three points for the team.

“Maradona gave me a gift. I can’t tell you what it was!”

After the match in Calabria, the 30-year-old Slovakia international told Mediaset Premium: “I hope 17 can bring Napoli good luck. The strikers will be back on the scoresheet soon, they were only denied by some great Alex Cordaz saves this evening.”

“We cannot afford to have this stress at the end and we should’ve finished the game off earlier,” he added.

“The important thing is we took home the three points. We had already been on the right track as winter champions three years ago, but we realise it means nothing, as we want to be top at the end of the season.”

Napoli have collected 48 points from 19 matches so far to sit top of the table in Italy.

“Statistics are worthless,” head coach Maurizio Sarri said. “We got 96 points over two different seasons, so we got the ratio wrong.

“It’s a strong run, reaching the Champions League is very important for us, so having 48 points at the midway stage of the season gives us hope.”

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