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Founder, The Sports Court
written before Napoli vs Ajax
There is a select few players in the world that combine flair with finishing, combine finishing with vision, and combine vision with a relentless work ethic.
A player of that quality is hard to come by. In fact, those players are rare.
And by that definition and terminology, it means Napoli’s $10 million bargain of a signing, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, is rare.
Kvaratskhelia, a 21-year-old winger from Georgia, is nicknamed Kvaradona by Napoli fans, and for good reason. Kvara has taken over Seria A by storm, providing 5 goals and 1 assist only 8 games into the season while tallying another assist in a Champions League clash against Liverpool.
The kid from Tbilisi, Georgia, is a rarity in all aspects.
A kid from Tbilisi is never supposed to rip apart the Champions League and take the world of football by storm, but here is Kvara, doing just that.
After playing for Dinamo Tbilisi and Rustavi as a teenager, Kvara headed over to Russia, where he got his first real chops as a professional footballer.
Kvara starred for Rubin Kazan, making 69 appearances and scoring 9 goals in his time there. Kvara eventually found his way make to Georiga with Dinamo Batumi before Napoli saw the talent Kvara possessed and snatched him up for $10 million.
At the time, it was seen as a good signing. There had been rumblings about a seriously talented player from Georiga that’s labeled as the ‘Georgian Messi’, but not many realized just how serious of a talent Kvara really was.
It was apparent in Kvaratskhelia’s first game for Napoli that they had a serious baller in their possession, scoring and assisting to open his account for the season.
Kvaratskhelia is a work-horse, with relentless pressing and never quit attitude and combines that with a flair when he dribbles reminiscent of the likes of Neymar, combined with a cool, calm, and collected finish in front of the net that really makes him a do-it-all player and a nightmare for defenders.
After his debut and being awarded Serie A player of the Month in August, Kvaratskhelia instantly became a household name in Italy, but it took until his individual masterclass against Liverpool in the Champions League for the world to catch on.
In his UCL debut, Kvaratskhelia sent Joe Gomez into a new dimension, dribbling past him left and right; capping it off by bodying Gomez off the ball to provide an assist and seal the deal with Napoli winning 3-0.
Kvaratskhelia is one of those talents you watch for the first time and get hooked on, for me, there have only been 3 talents that have ever caught my eye the way Kvaratskhelia has caught mine. Those three: Kylian Mbappe, Frenkie De Jong, and Erling Haaland.
Not bad company to be in if you’re Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
It will be fun to see if Kvara can keep up his excellent form and become the best flairful, skillful, player in a generation full of robotic players who play for the system.
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All Editorials written by Chris Dailey