Real Madrid’s next Galactico

Carlo Garganese
Carlo Garganese
  • Updated: 29 Nov 2023 16:30 GMT
  • 4 min read
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Napoli, 2022/23
© ProShots

“I grew up watching Real Madrid on TV and now they are my rival on the pitch. It’s impossible not to be happy with an evening like this.”

These were the words of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia before Napoli’s 3-2 home defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League earlier this season.

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On Wednesday the two sides will play again at the Santiago Bernabeu in their return group game.

For Kvaratskhelia it is an extra special game between his current team Napoli and the side he not only supported as a child but who he dreams of playing for in the future.

And don’t be surprised if Kvaratskhelia delivers a Galactico-like performance in the Spanish capital.

The Georgian has been in sensational form over the past couple of months.

He has scored four goals in his last three games for club and country. This included the opener in the 2-1 win at Atalanta on Saturday as returning coach Walter Mazzarri won his first game back at the club.

Kvaratskhelia has been reborn in recent weeks. He has 12 goal contributions in his last 14 matches, and is back at a world class level.

He looks fresh, fast, he is beating men for fun and his ball-carrying is world class. He also looks happy, his wedding last month obviously helping there.

This refound form follows a difficult period on the pitch where there were some wild suggestions that 2022-23 may have been a one-season wonder for the 22-year-old.

Kvaratskhelia’s bad run of form

Kvaratskhelia ended last season badly and that poor form spilled into the current campaign.

He went six months without scoring a goal, also contributing only one assist during this time.

It has been claimed by some that Kvaratskhelia’s contract situation was a cause for his decline in form.

The 22-year-old is paid a measly €1m a year, making him one of the lowest paid players in the Napoli squad.

There have been difficulties even setting up meetings to discuss a new contract, let alone agreeing on a deal that reflects his worth.

Kvaratskhelia has been in brilliant form
© ProShots - Kvaratskhelia has been in brilliant form

A row with recently sacked manager Rudi Garcia after being substituted in September added to the concerns but Kvaratskhelia is now well and truly back to his best.

Make no mistake about it, Kvaratskhelia is good enough to not only play for Real Madrid in the future but to be a star for them.

He has all of the special qualities you would associate with a Galactico.

He was one of the breakout stars of European football last season during a historic campaign for the Partenopei.

Kvaratskhelia moved to Napoli from Dinamo Batumi last year for €10m – and that proved to be the bargain of the season.

He scored 14 goals and assisted 14 in all competitions as Napoli won their first Scudetto in 33 years.

He delivered a string of brilliant performances, including tearing Juventus apart 5-1 in January and Liverpool 4-1 in the Champions League.

This has led to many of Europe’s biggest clubs being interested in signing the star in 2024.

Real Madrid already have a world class left winger in Vinicius Jr but Kvaratskhelia wearing the Blancos shirt is something that appears very possible in the years to come.

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