Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

James Dielhenn On June - 15 - 2010

World Cup 2010 Player Focus: Marek Hamsik of Slovakia

If Italy are to progress from Group F, as they should, they will have to keep an eye out for arguably the most dangerous player they will oppose in the group stage.

Slovakia are a steady if unspectacular team, but Marek Hamsik is the player that gives them a cutting edge from midfield.

The Napoli playmaker is no stranger to Serie A audiences, as his stock has grown in the last couple of seasons. There are murmurs that now link him to some of Europe’s biggest clubs, and an impressive World Cup could see him seal a big move.

Slovakia will expect a lot from their captain in South Africa this summer. At 22-years-old he bears the weight of expectation of his country, but then again, he’s always achieved as an underdog.

Hamsik only played six matches for hometown team Slovan Bratislava before moving to Italy, with Brescia, as a 16-year-old. His potential was obvious, and Napoli brought him to Serie A three years later. Aurelio De Laurentiis, the Napoli president who bought him, earmarked him as one for the future upon his low-key arrival.

But Hamsik, and Napoli in fact, have gone from strength-to-strength. Hamsik has become a skilful attacking midfielder capable of unlocking a defence, and has a healthy habit of weighing in with more than his fair share of goals from a deep position. Predominantly he plays from the middle of park, although Slovakia have used his cutting in from the left, too.

At Napoli, who are not blessed with prolific goalscorers, the onus is one Hamsik to find the net regularly. Incredibly the youngster was the club’s top scorer in his first two seasons at the club, and in the season just gone, he netted 12 times. No mean feat in a league that is famous for its defending.

He has already won 30 international caps, scoring eight goals along the way. Being an Eastern European, he has been inevitably likened to Pavel Nedved by Serie A viewers, but to live up to such a generous comparison he will need to threaten Italy in the group stages when the two teams in the last match of Group F.

By James Dielhenn

  • Walker

    Hamsik's experience in Italian Serie A should help his Slovakian national side when they meet the Italians in their final group match on June 24, match #41

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