Napoli attacker Khvicha Kvaratskhelia sat down with Serie A ahead of Matchday 15 to speak about the comparisons with Diego Maradona, Manager Luciano Spalletti, and teammate Kim Min-Jae.
From the alleys of Naples’s Spanish Quarter to the headlines of national newspapers, the Georgian has been dubbed Kvaradona, after the most beloved player in the club’s history.
“I don’t think anyone can be compared to Maradona. He’s one of the legends of the game. It’s very unlikely we’ll ever see another player like him. Obviously, it’s very nice to be likened to Maradona. It means a lot to me and it makes me feel even more responsible. Being compared to a player like that makes you feel proud and happy.”
Relentless and innovative, Kvaratskhelia has proved to be the perfect fit for coach Luciano Spalletti’s highly effective system.
“I want to stress what a wonderful person Spalletti is. From the day I arrived, he’s taken time to talk to me and explain things to me. I’ve learnt a lot from him and I can see that I’ve improved as a player. I’ve learnt a lot tactically and I want to keep learning and improving. He’s a great coach. He always urges me to do better and keep pushing myself, urging me to play with my teammates.”
As well as the league’s best attack, the Azzurri also boast the third-best defence built around the iron-wall performances of another instant revelation of this campaign: South Korean centre-back Kim Min-Jae.
“Kim is a wonderful person, a very positive person. It’s hard to be serious for very long around Kim. He likes to joke a lot. He’s also an amazing defender, one of the best in the world. If he’s behind you, you know you’re safe. You know he’ll stop the opposition and prevent them from scoring.”