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Hamsik remaining grounded after passing Maradona

Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik played down praise after overtaking the great Diego Maradona in the list of all-time Napoli goalscorers in Serie A.

Hamsik leapfrogged Maradona – who netted 81 league goals in 188 appearances for Napoli between 1984 and 1991 – into second place in the standings with the opening goal in Napoli’s 3-0 victory over Palermo on Saturday – their second successive win of the campaign.

But despite the feat, Hamsik, who is still 24 goals shy of Attila Sallustro’s haul, said he is only focused on his team, not personal achievements.

“I am very happy that I have reached 82 goals, but happier about winning this match,” Hamsik told the club’s website.

“[It is] a great personal satisfaction to have hit this milestone in a blue shirt and to have passed a player like Maradona. But at this time I am happy to have contributed to the success of this evening, which is very important.

“We are a team built with offensive play and precise organisation. Our mentality is always offensive – scoring goals is one of our characteristics – but it is important not to concede goals, as happened tonight.”

Napoli, who occupy second place behind Juventus in Serie A, will now travel to Ukraine to face Dynamo Kiev in their first Champions League tie of the season.

Sat 10 Sep, 2016
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