Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
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Georgian Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has racked up 20 hours of football for Napoli so far, but is already drawing comparisons with legendary footballer Diego Maradona.

Maradona is considered a God in Naples and dubbed as the greatest footballer of all time. So being mentioned in the same breath as the late star would be an immense compliment for the most decorated and seasoned players, according to Daily Mail. Now, Kvaratskhelia, a 21-year-old player with just three months' experience in one of Europe's top five leagues, is being compared to Maradona.

Kvaratskhelia, who is just 16 matches into his Napoli career, has earned himself the nickname 'Kvaradona.' It is a catchy reference to Maradona. 'Kvaravaggio,' which plays on the name of the famous Italian Renaissance painter, is another nickname given to him.

The player from Tbilsi has made a great start to life in Italy. He registered eight goals and 10 assists, and that equates to 1.13 goal contributions per game. It is an impressive return for a player who had only featured in Russian and Georgian football up until August.

Italian journalist Luca Montanari cannot think of a player making a similar impact in the country's history. Montanari said that these are heavy comparisons, probably "unprecedented in the history of Italian football, but this is due to the impact he made on Napoli in the first few weeks of the season -- four goals and an assist in six Serie A matches." The journalist noted that Kvaratskhelia has a great personality on the pitch, "an insane eye for goal and is unstoppable with the ball at his feet."

Football journalist Edo Badalashvili visited Naples in September to watch Kvaratskhelia play against Liverpool in the Champions League, reported CNN. He didn’t score, but he attacked the Liverpool defense in a 4-1 win for Napoli. Badalashvili from Georgia remembered the outpouring of love that the player received from the club’s fans. He said that their Georgian immigrants who live in Napoli say that, as "Georgians, we are given pizza there because of Kvara."

Badalashvili noted that in the city of "Maradona, everyone loves Kvara." He added that when people found out that he is from Georgia, "everyone received me well, took photos and chanted ‘Khvicha, Khvicha.’ True, it is still difficult for them to pronounce the name correctly. I don’t know how Kvara could do it in such a short period."

Kvaratskhelia joined Napoli in the summer for 10 million pounds ($1,13,31,950) after leaving Rubin Kazan. According to FIFA rules, foreign players could leave Russian clubs up until June 30 after the country's invasion of Ukraine.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of Napoli is challenged by Ibrahima Konate of Liverpool
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of Napoli is challenged by Ibrahima Konate of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield on November 01, 2022 in Liverpool, England. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

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