By 90Min
October 13, 2017

Dries Mertens seems to embody the typical, genuine happiness that those who live in Naples naturally have in their blood. 

At the mark of his fourth year as Napoli's lead striker, the Belgium star has finally achieved his goal to follow legend and role model Diego Maradona into the city's folklore.

In an interview with Italian news outlet Repubblica, Mertens has opened up about his dream of leaving a significant mark at Napoli and earning his place at the club like the Argentine idol did. 


As Napoli stand alone at the top of the Serie A table, Mertens told Repubblica: "When I saw all the photos of Maradona in the restaurants, my goal was to earn my own spot."

Four years later, Mertens can now consider his mission accomplished. 

"I'm everywhere," the 30-year-old Belgian attacker joked.

And Mertens' face is not just hanging on the walls of Naples' best pizza restaurants, as the Belgium starlet joked he always has time for a quick selfie.

"Everybody in Naples must have a picture with me by now, but if you need another one, I never say no to a selfie. 

The 30-year-old, who has recently been shortlisted in the Ballon d'Or's 30 best players, said that he has turned into a passionate and enthusiastic Napoli supporter ever since landing the Italian club in 2013. 

"My initials are D.M., just like Diego Maradona," he continued. "And just like him, I want to be remembered by the people of Naples."

This season, Mertens has already netted seven times in as many Serie A games and has his heart set on winning the Scudettto with Napoli. With Maurizio Sarri at the helm, he claims the gap between them and reigning champions Juventus is getting smaller all the time. 

"Juventus can afford to spend a great deal of money for new players. But Napoli can always respond by playing magnificently," he added.

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