Lionel Messi ought to signal for Napoli to pay the last word homage to Diego Maradona when he leaves Barcelona, in line with his former Camp Nou teammate Kevin-Prince Boateng, who has paid his personal tribute to the departed Argentina nice.
Maradona handed away aged 60 on November 25, and Messi, who labored with the 1986 World Cup winner through the former’s time as Argentina head coach has already paid his respects to his idol by eradicating his Barca package to disclose a Newell’s Previous Boys shirt earlier this month.
Nevertheless, Monza midfielder Boateng believes that Messi ought to pay the last word homage to his compatriot by signing for Maradona’s former membership Napoli when contract at Barcelona ends in 2021.
“Messi’s going to complete his contract at Barcelona, [but] how superb wouldn’t it be if he would simply name Napoli and say ‘I’ll come’?” Boateng instructed ESPN.
“‘They do not give out the No. 10 shirt anymore, [but] I’d like to honour Maradona’s No. 10 and I’d love to return and play one 12 months or two years at Naples, with out serious about cash or nothing, simply coronary heart.'”
Maradona’s standing in Naples is legendary, having gained the Italian title twice throughout his seven-year keep at Napoli, whose San Paolo stadium has been renamed in his honour since his passing.
“It could be like a film,” Boateng continued. “He’d need to go to apply by a f—ing helicopter as a result of individuals would eat him alive they’d be so completely satisfied.
“However simply that story: ‘In honour of Maradona, I’ll come and play for Naples,’ what sort of story would that be for the world, not just for soccer, for the world?
“It could be a message, it might be historical past all over the place. I simply want I’d be in Messi’s sneakers. I need to be Messi. I’d name the president of Naples and I’d inform him.”
Naples has united in collective recognition of Maradona following his loss of life earlier this month, with the workforce sporting Argentina-inspired kits for his or her Serie A gathering with AS Roma, every Napoli participant bearing his iconic No. 10 for the fixture, and ahead Lorenzo Insigne even getting a tattoo of the membership legend on his left leg.
For Boateng, Maradona’s ‘sturdy bond’ with the membership and the town is as a lot about what he achieved off the pitch as on it, with the participant’s perspective to life in Italy explaining why he stays so beloved within the metropolis.
“I heard tales about him the place he got here out from the coaching floor and noticed households and gave them cash and mentioned ‘the whole lot’s going to be alright’,” Boateng recalled.
“That is what made him so particular in Naples. In fact he gained the league, however he was like an individual you may contact, and it is tough to search out.
“He was at all times there; you noticed him scoring an incredible objective, after which the subsequent day, you may discover him strolling by way of the streets.”
Since bursting onto the scene at Barcelona in 2004, earlier than making his Argentina debut a 12 months later, Messi has been celebrated because the non secular successor to Maradona, and Boateng, who performed with the 33-year-old throughout his mortgage spell at Catalonia final season, believes the comparisons should not far-fetched.
“[Maradona] had an excessive amount of high quality, and he had that intelligence that Messi has, he was at all times one step forward,” Boateng continued. “I do not bear in mind seeing him reside, however I’ve seen the entire movies and I do know the whole lot about him.”
The Ghana worldwide did witness Messi’s qualities up shut throughout their time collectively in Catalonia, a interval which made him just lately declare that he felt ‘insufficient’ in comparison with the Barca nice.
When requested about what set Messi other than Boateng’s different teammates and opponents, the ex-AC Milan midfielder pointed to his means to marry quickness of thought and impeccable approach.
He mentioned: “[It’s] his thoughts, as a result of he has unbelievable qualities with the ball, we see that on a regular basis, however he is at all times two or three steps forward. On a regular basis, that is what makes him unbelievable.
“His thoughts, his intelligence, understanding the place to move, with the appropriate tempo, on the appropriate foot.
“Folks do not perceive soccer, and the way it adjustments the sport, to play the ball with the appropriate tempo, with the appropriate spin, in your excellent foot on the proper second.
“All these issues collectively, and he [also] has that intelligence to grasp that in a second, the place to place the ball.”
Maybe in the future quickly, Barcelona’s loss might show to be Napoli’s achieve.