Hamsik eyes Maradona’s record as Napoli visit Roma
MILAN: Napoli captain Marek Hamsik will have a chance to equal Diego Maradona’s scoring record for the club and put Slovakia’s painful World Cup elimination behind him when they visit AS Roma in Serie A on Saturday.
Napoli lead Serie A with a maximum 21 points, and have blasted 25 goals in the process, after winning their first seven games but Saturday’s match at the Stadio Olimpico will be by far their sternest test so far.
Apart from the impressive 4-1 win at Lazio, Napoli have only faced teams who would normally expect to finish in the middle or lower half of the table — Verona, Atalanta, Bologna, Benevento, SPAL and Cagliari.
Roma themselves have won five of their six league matches, including an impressive 2-0 win at AC Milan in their last outing, making the fixture the highlight of a weekend which also features the first Milan derby of the season.
Hamsik is now in his 11th season at Napoli, who have managed two second and two third-place finishes in the last five seasons and are widely regarded as playing the most entertaining football in Serie A.
The 30-year-old Slovak midfielder has scored 114 competitive goals during that time — one short of Maradona’s total during his seven-year spell between 1984 and 1991 which saw Napoli win their only two titles. Hamsik was left bitterly disappointed at Slovakia’s World Cup elimination on Tuesday.
Slovakia’s Marek Hamsik in action.