Dries Mertens confirmed his status as one of the greatest players to ever don the sky blue of Napoli as he became the clubs joint-top scorer, equalling Marek Hamsik’s record on Tuesday during the Champions League round of 16 first-leg clash against Barcelona. The Belgian curled one from outside the box to join his former team-mate at the top. The 32-year-old opened the scoring in the game as he placed his shot to perfection, giving Marc-Andre Ter Stegen no chance in the goal to reach this milestone. Lionel Messi Set to Play in ‘City of Diego Maradona’ As Barcelona Face Napoli in Champions League, Italian Club Shares Classy Video.
Dries Mertens scored his 121st goal for Napoli, which puts him on top of the all-time goal-scoring charts for the Serie A club alongside former captain Marek Hamsik. The Slovenian captain played for Napoli between 2007 and 2019 and surpassed Diego Maradona’s tally of 115 goals for the club during the 2017-18 season. Mertens matched his former team-mates record in just 310 appearances as Hamsik needed more than 500 games to reach the tally. Vintage Diego Maradona Video Goes Viral, Shows Argentine Genius Dribbling Past Four Opponents in a Charity Game at Napoli.
Watch Record-Equalling Goal
Dries Mertens Score amazing goal vs Barcelona (UCL) pic.twitter.com/MIGAqnUXkt
— Fianso (@FiansoMed) February 25, 2020
That feeling when you tie Napoli's all-time scoring record with Marek Hamšík 😅
6️⃣ goals in 7️⃣ Champions League games for Dries Mertens this season! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/j64cp9MUdv
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 25, 2020
Dries Mertens joined Napoli from PSV in 2013 and since then has been one of the most important players for the club. He scored 13 times in his debut campaign, leading Napoli to a Coppa Italia title. The Belgian has scored six goals in seven Champions League games this season but was unable to guide his side to a win against Barcelona as Antoine Griezmann brought the Spanish club on level terms.
Napoli's All-Time Leading Scorers
121 - Dries Mertens' opener against Barcelona was his 121st goal for Napoli in all competitions, moving him level with Marek Hamsik as the joint-top scorer in the club's history. Landmark. pic.twitter.com/lYwcYoSful
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) February 25, 2020
Dries Mertens is yet to sign a new deal with Napoli and his contract expires in the summer. Napoli are working on a new deal although reports suggest that the Belgian could leave the club at the end of the season with Inter Milan and Chelsea heavily linked with the 32-year-old.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 26, 2020 08:54 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).