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Marek Hamšík

Hamsik gunning for Maradona's record

15:53 GMT+3 15/04/2017
The Napoli captain is three goals away from equalling the icon's record of 115 goals for the club, but says he is not obsessed with beating it

Napoli captain Marek Hamsik said it will be a proud day if he eclipses Diego Maradona as the club's all-time leading scorer, but concedes he may have to wait until next season to equal the Argentine's record of 115.

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The Slovakian midfielder is approaching the 10th anniversary of his arrival at Stadio San Paolo and has scored 11 goals in 31 appearances this season for Maurizio Sarri's side, who are third in the Serie A table.

His career tally for Napoli stands at 112, but Hamsik, who turns 30 in July, said that age and the travails of a long season may prevent him from netting three more goals in the last seven games of the campaign.

When asked whether he thinks about the record, Hamsik told Corriere dello Sport: "Of course I do. But I don't make it an obsession.

"I've got more to think about than equalling Maradona's record.

"Three goals seem few compared to the 112 that I've scored. But I feel the weight of tiredness of the first phase of the season, and now also that of old age since I'm nearly 30. It may mean that I'll have to wait until next year. In any case it will be a thrill.

"The day I happen to match him and beat him, I'll be proud of myself."

Hamsik also paid tribute to coach Sarri for making 2016-17 his best season on a personal level.

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"It is the best season of my career," Hamsik said. "And we have played the most beautiful football in Europe.

"In certain performances the quality of our football has been unquestionable. I owe so much to Sarri.

"This is a team where we can play fantastically, for a club that [club chairman, Aurelio] De Laurentiis keeps among the best. And that's where we want to stay.

"Statistics aside, it has been the best season of my career."