What is their to say about Il Pocho Lavezzi that doesn’t bring out emotions. He is the embodiment of Cazzima and grinta. Everything from on-field bust ups, beautiful goals, amazing breakouts as a part of the “3 Tenors” with Marek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani, the off-field row with ADL. Lavezzi brought drama, but also brought passion to the shadow of Vesuvius, which is probably not a bad analogy to make of the fiery Argentine.
Lavezzi joined Napoli from Estudiantes in Argentina in the summer of 2007, for a fee of 6 Million Euros, at the age of 22. This was our first Mercato back in Serie A, after finishing 2nd in Serie B the previous season. This Mercato also saw the arrival of another major player, Marek Hamsik.
Il Pocho also will go down as a part of the 2nd stage of a Napoli squad reborn, as far as I’m concerned. In stage one, you had players like Calaio and Bucchi, but now we had Hamsik, Lavezzi, and the eventual arrival of Edinson Cavani.
The Speedy winger had so much to offer this iteration of Napoli. Not only was he speedy, and lethal on the break, but his technical ability was an underrated part of his game. Part of me wonders how Lavezzi would fit in with a certain 4-3-3 playing, cigarette smoking manager….anyway, back on track. Lavezzi brought fire and explosiveness to the Neapolitans. He had amazing ability to do things like this:
Just like this goal against Juventus, Lavezzi had flair for the big games. In 8 UCL matches for Napoli, he scored twice(both against Chelsea) and notched 5 assists, giving him 7 direct influences on goal in said 8 matches. Who can forget this goal? I know it goes down as one of my favorites in the last 10 years:
Lavezzi, from this season, through his last match at Napoli(A Coppa Italia victory v Juventus), Lavezzi made 188 appearances for Napoli. He would notch 48 goals, and assist 60 times in 5 seasons. To put a #NapoliStats spin on it, that’d be a direct influence on a goal once every 141 minutes. Over a 5 year span, that is quite the output.
Ezequiel will always have a special place with me. Once ADL was quote as saying “Lavezzi? He is a Neapolitan born and bred, although no-one knows this, he has the virus that has entered his blood”. This always rang true to me. His connection with the fans was immediate, and stayed through his exit. That will always stick with me, and I remain thankful for the time we were able to watch Il Pocho wear the Napoli colors.
By Ken Cioffredi Follow @NapoliStats