Who is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia? Napoli’s ‘Georgian Maradona’ set for greatness
Over the years there have been many ‘new Maradonas’. Very few have lived up to the huge billing, but one who just might do is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
The ‘Georgian Maradona’, or ‘Kvaradona as he is known in Naples, has enjoyed a sensational start to his career at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
So what do we know about the 22-year-old?
What position does Khvicha Kvaratskhelia play in?
Kvaratskhelia is usually deployed on the left wing - as he does for Napoli - but can also play on the right and often drifts into the centre.
How good is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia?
The whole of Italy – and not just Napoli fans – are currently going wild for Kvaratskhelia. The 22-year-old has been the standout player in Italy so far this season, along with teammate Victor Osimhen.
He has enjoyed an incredible start to his career at Napoli since joining from Dinamo Batumi for just €10 million this summer.
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He has scored 13 goals and delivered 15 assists in all competitions, as of the middle of March.
Playing from the left wing in Luciano Spalletti’s 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 systems, Kvaratskhelia has been virtually unplayable at times.
He boasts searing pace, brilliant dribbling and loves to attack and drive at the opposition. He is an unpredictable wideman, who can beat his man on the outside and inside.
He can used both feet and possesses a powerful shot. Already he has scored a number of contenders for goal of the season. He hit a sensational effort into the top corner from long range versus Monza, and did a reenaction of Roberto Baggio's famous goal in Italia '90 versus Atalanta.
Kvaratskhelia is creative, a fine crosser and he even managed to score with his head in the opening day victory over Verona.
The youngster is fearless, always demanding possession and wanting to take responsibility.
“I invited him up to my house for a cup of tea on the afternoon he signed the contract,” Spalletti recalled.
“He is able to control any ball and make it clean, he has this very shy way of doing things, he never wants to be the centre of attention, but when he plays football, he is so confident.”
It is already clear that Napoli have a really special player on their hands who has the ability to go right to the top of the game.
“Watch out for Kvaratskhelia,” Italy legend Alessandro Del Piero warned Liverpool ahead of their Champions League match on Wednesday.
“He is unpredictable and talented: he seems to be made to play in Europe.”
Napoli acquired him for a bargain this summer from Dinamo Batumi after Kvaratskhelia had been forced to return to his native Georgia from Rubin Kazan due to the Ukraine-Russia War.
It has been predicted for a while that Kvaratskhelia was a huge talent, with The Guardian naming him as one of the 50 best players born in the 21st century back in 2021.
What clubs are interested in Khvicha Kvaratskhelia?
Kvaratskhelia is being followed by a host of big European clubs, including Real Madrid, Man Utd and Man City.
The Georgian supported Madrid as a child and has been open about his desire to play for the Blancos in the future. His favourite player was Guti as a kid.
Prior to moving to Napoli, Kvaratskhelia was linked with a host of big clubs, including Man Utd, Man City, Tottenham, Milan, Juventus and many more.
Indeed, it was revealed that he would have moved to Juventus had Fabio Paratici not left as Juventus sporting director in order to take over at Tottenham.
“We had a preliminary agreement with Juventus when Paratici was there,” his agent Mamuka Jugeli told Nobel Arustamyan on YouTube, as quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“However, Paratici went to Tottenham, but if he hadn’t changed team, Khvicha would be playing for the Bianconeri now. Milan had also asked for information, but Napoli moved more concretely.”
Juventus’ loss has certainly been Napoli’s gain as with Kvaratskhelia they may even launch a surprise Scudetto challenge this season.
When does Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s contract expire?
Kvaratskhelia’s contract runs out on July 30, 2027.
How old is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia?
Kvaratskhelia was born on 12 February, 2001. He is 22.
What is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s height?
Kvaratskhelia is 183cm, or around 6ft 0in.
What is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia Instagram?
Kvaratskhelia’s Instagram has 2.4 million followers as of March 2023.