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Boateng implores Messi to join Napoli to honour Maradona


Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona
Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona

Kevin-Prince Boateng feels Lionel Messi should pay the ultimate tribute to his fellow Argentina great Diego Maradona by signing for Napoli.

Maradona passed away last month, and Messi has already paid his respects by removing his Barcelona shirt when scoring against Osasuna to reveal a Newell’s Old Boys jersey.

Newell’s was the team Messi came through at, and Maradona had a season at the club towards the tail-end of his career.

It was at Napoli where Maradona cemented his legendary status, with the 1986 World Cup winner guiding the club to two Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990.

Napoli have retired Maradona’s No.10 shirt, meaning Barca’s current occupier of that jersey would need to take on a different number, but Boateng feels it is a move that Messi should make.

“Messi’s going to finish his contract at Barcelona, [but] how amazing would it be if he would just call Napoli and say ‘I will come’?” Boateng told ESPN.

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“‘They don’t give out the No.10 shirt anymore, [but] I would love to honour Maradona’s No.10 and I would love to come and play one year or two years at Naples, without thinking about money or nothing, just heart’.”

Monza midfielder Boateng, who spent a spell on loan alongside Messi at Barcelona last year, has described the possibility of a move to Napoli as being like a movie script – but would love it to happen.

“It would be like a movie,” Boateng said. “He’d have to go to practice by a f*cking helicopter because people would eat him alive. They’d be so happy.

“But just that story: ‘In honour of Maradona, I will come and play for Naples’, what kind of story would that be for the world, not only for football, for the world?

“It would be a message, it would be history everywhere. I just wish I would be in Messi’s shoes. I want to be Messi. I would call the president of Naples and I would tell him.”

For the moment, Messi’s focus is on lifting Barcelona up the Liga table – they currently sit 12 points behind leaders Atletico Madrid – starting with a home game against Levante on Sunday.



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