Napoli legend Careca has recently compared Partenopei striker Victor Osimhen to Pele, praising the goal he scored against Roma recently.
Osimhen has been one of the most potent goalscorers in the top five European leagues this season and has formed a devastating partnership with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, playing a key role in keeping Napoli at the top of the Serie A table.
The Nigerian could cement a unique legacy in Naples, if he does take the club to the first Scudetto since the Diego Maradona days. And one of Maradona’s former Napoli teammates – Careca, spoke to Calciomercato in a detailed interview and he compared Osimhen to his late countryman Pele.
Careca said: “They [Napoli] are strong, they play well and they are united. I spoke to Spalletti and he made a wonderful impression on me, a clean and honest man. This goes down to the players. And then there is Osimhen.
“He is very strong and he will become even stronger because he wants to improve and still has a little something to work on. But he is unstoppable and he has an impressive physical superpower. In the goal scored against Roma, I saw something similar to Pelé. He dominated the ball, dominated the defender and smashed the goal. In that goal, there is everything, technique, malice and power.”
Careca also spoke in length about the warmth of Naples, Maradona’s impact on the city what winning the Scudetto meant for the city.
On Naples and how the people of the city treated him when he first joined, he said: “The love of the fans was fantastic, but difficult to manage, sometimes suffocating. It was impossible for us to go out during the day without finding ourselves surrounded, they even recognized me with a fake beard, glasses and hat. I spent a lot of time at home and if I had been very young, without a wife and children, it would have been more difficult. They gave me balance and serenity, quiet evenings and some good pasta with clams – my favourite.”
He further stated: “In Naples, everyone smiles at you, they are cheerful and warm. They seem to live without complications and instead I have known very difficult realities. The difference lies in the approach, in that knowing how to often find the ironic side of the thing. But also in the strong sense of solidarity. Elsewhere, selfishness is an element that unfortunately is affirming itself more and more. In Naples it does not take root. In Naples, we help each other and perhaps this is also what gives more hope to those who have to go on every day.”
While shedding light on Maradona’s impact on the city, Careca stated his belief that the Argentina gave the city an identity that went beyond football.
“I am a Neapolitan Brazilian, I get angry when they always talk about Naples in a certain way. Luckily things have changed a lot since I arrived, at the time we were described as the third world . A few steps forward have been made, a path that was started by Diego; first of all,
“I say Diego because he arrived first and because he was our example. He led a sporting revolution which, however, had a much deeper meaning, which went beyond the confines of the field. We won against Rome, against Milan, against Turin. The Neapolitans won, who needed to liberate themselves. Without Maradona, it would not have been possible.”
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN