Monday, December 11, 2017

Mertens shrugs off Maradona comparisons after Napoli wondergoal

SoccerNews in Serie A 21 Sep 2017

Napoli star Dries Mertens says he should not be compared to Diego Maradona following his wonder strike against Lazio on Wednesday.

The Belgium international scored a spectacular long-range lob from a tight angle to help his side come from behind to win 4-1 in at the Stadio Olimpico.

The goal, which helped Napoli maintain their 100 per cent start in Serie A, has been compared by some to a Maradona strike against the same opposition back in 1985.

Mertens, however, says he should not be likened to the Argentina great.

“I saw the ball there and I thought of the shot,” he told Mediaset Premium. “I am very happy with this goal but the most important thing was to win the game.

“Mine was further out than Maradona, so I get extra credit! I turned around, saw the goalkeeper was getting slowly back to his line and that there was a small gap, so I said to myself: ‘go for it’!

“It’s thanks to my team-mates if I’m able to score goals like that. I am not Lionel Messi, I’m not Maradona, I’m just Dries and I’m happy with that.”

Mertens hit 34 goals in all competitions last season and has begun 2017-18 in similarly ruthless fashion, scoring six times in five Serie A games.

The 30-year-old has established himself as one of the most dangerous attackers in Europe since being converted to a central role last October, following a serious injury to Arkadiusz Milik.

Napoli head coach Maurizio Sarri admits he wishes he had made the positional switch sooner and says Mertens’ form places him among the very best in the world.

“Mertens scored a world-class goal, an amazing goal,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “He just keeps getting better and is becoming truly world class. 

“I want Mertens to be like an animal, starving for goals. Frankly, I was fortunate to discover him as a centre-forward, because I had to make the change when Arek Milik was injured last year, but we didn’t think he would become like this.

“It’s honestly a pity that we only discovered Mertens as a striker at the age of 28, because he could have been at the top level in the world for years and years.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
wpDiscuz
Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

  • Football_888sport betting �
Become a Writer
More More
Top