The father of Marek Hamsik has leapt to the defense of the Napoli midfielder after several Italian newspapers published a picture last week of the 22-year-old standing next to absconding mafia don Domenico Pagano in a Naples restaurant.
Other pictures which were discovered in different mafia hideouts across Italy depicted Juventus centre-back Fabio Cannavaro and former Brazilian international Roberto Carlos beside another unnamed absconding mafia capo.
“I have talked to Marek about the picture,” Hamsik’s father, Richard, told Slovak daily Più 1.
“My son is not aware of when and where it was taken. There are fans who asks for autographs and photos almost every single day and he can’t clearly recognise them.
“He was left astonished by the publication of this picture as he has nothing to do with the Italian mafia.”
Hamsik is regarded as a key figure in Slovakia’s plans for the World Cup finals in South Africa this summer.