Mertens equals Hamsik as Napoli’s joint-top scorer

The Belgium international netted the first goal of the Champions League last-16 first leg against Barcelona in the 30th minute

Dries Mertens
Dries Mertens

Dries Mertens has written himself into Napoli history books after joining Marek Hamsik, now having scored 121 goals for the club.

The Belgium international netted the first goal of the Champions League last-16 first leg against Barcelona when he sent a curling shot past the Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the 30th minute.

His 17th Champions League goal puts him on top of their all-time scoring charts alongside former Napoli captain Marek Hamsik. Mertens now needs only one more goal to become the number one goalscorer for Napoli.

In October last year, the Belgian forward had already surpassed Argentine legend Maradona's record by scoring 116 goals and scoring 2 goals against Salzburg in an away match in the UEFA Champions League. Maradona scored 115 goals in 188 appearances between 1984 and 1991. Mertens needed just 310 appearances to join his former team-mate on top of the chart, whereas Hamsik needed over 500 games to reach the tally.

During the January transfer window, the 32-year old had been linked with a move to Chelsea but the transfer never materialized. Chelsea were hoping to convince Mertens to make the move to the Premier League during January, but the forward decided to stay in the south of Italy for six more months. With the Belgian being a free agent next summer, it is not unlikely he will be moving to Chelsea next summer.

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