With a miraculous goal, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia lived up to comparisons to legendary Diego Maradona and has Napoli feeling well ahead of their Champions League matchup with Eintracht Frankfurt.
The most unnaturally talented Napoli player since Maradona plied his trade in southern Italy in the 1980s, the Georgia winger has emerged as one of Europe’s hottest properties after an astonishing debut season in Naples.
And now, with 13 goals and as many assists across all competitions, he is poised to lead Napoli to the quarterfinals of Europe’s top club competition for the first time in their history. Victor Osimhen is the star of a truly outstanding team.
The 22-year-stunning old’s goal, which gave Napoli a 2-0 victory over Atalanta on Saturday, was the epitome of his close control and precise play, which have been pivotal numerous times this season.
After a goalless first half, there were some concerns that a spring collapse typical of Luciano Spalletti’s sides was in store, but suddenly “Kvaradona” sprinkled his stardust. The team had been defeated at home by Lazio the previous week.
In a Napoli counterattack, Kvaratskhelia received a pass from Osimhen, and without any support, he charged the Atalanta defense.
Giorgio Scalvini was forced to slide tackle empty space after his initial feint sent Rafael Toloi spinning, but after already deceiving four players, he cut back inside the confused Toloi and scored at the near post.
Seven Atalanta players were helpless to stop the goal by the time Kvaratskhelia took his shot since he was alone in the penalty area and Napoli was almost certain to win their first Scudetto since 1990.
Looking at the quality of control in such a little space, you can declare with confidence that he scored a goal worthy of Maradona this time. He practically disappears when he sprints at you, says Spalletti told reporters.
The incoming champions from Italy take on Eintracht with a 2-0 lead to defend after a thrashing performance in the first leg in Germany and nothing but good sentiments surrounding the team.
Following an appeal from Eintracht, an initial prohibition on anyone in Germany purchasing tickets that had been imposed on Friday by the Italian interior ministry due to unrest at the first match had been lifted on Saturday.
In response to the most recent decision to restrict ticket sales as a precaution for public safety, Eintracht board member Philipp Reschke declared in a statement that the club would not use any of its allocations.
Two-thirds of our supporters are from beyond the Rhine-Main region and are not from Frankfurt, which is a well-known fact, he stated.
There are various methods to actually get around this rule and let some of our support bases into the stadium. We won’t separate ourselves into postcode regions.
Despite not filling all 2,700 spots, Eintracht is appealing the judgment because “it’s more about the concept for us and how it influences future decisions” due to the timing.