You always want your captain to not just be a leader on the pitch, but off it as well. Someone who can perk up crestfallen players, who can help keep the spirits high in the dressing room. That's one of the things that Marek Hamsik does incredibly well, and he's working on spinning that spirit-lifting magic on the fanbase as well.
Speaking to the media from Napoli's camp at Dimaro, Hamsik pulled absolutely no punches when he laid out the squad's goals for the season: "We want to do better than last season. Our targets are to win the Scudetto, win the Coppa Italia and go as far as possible in the Champions League. We have what it takes to achieve all of those. It’s true that at times individual players make the difference, but mostly the squad gets results.
"I want this to be Hamsik’s Napoli. Juventus and Roma had an extraordinary season, but we are not inferior to those teams. We just lacked a little consistency, especially in January. Rafa Benitez is a winner and that really helps us."
The thing is... those aren't unreasonable goals. Juventus seem to be reeling after Antonio Conte's departure. Roma are good, but had some luck with the timing and quantity of injuries that Napoli did not enjoy, luck that almost surely can't continue for a second straight year. They also still might not have the quality of depth needed to compete in both the Champions League and Serie A, despite their additions this summer.
With the partenopei looking to get better and deeper at every position, this might be the year that the Scudetto comes to Naples again, something that Hamsik very much wants to have happen. "It would be fantastic for the whole city to win the Scudetto," everyone's favorite spiky-haired Slovakian said, "but we have to be perfect or it becomes difficult. We are strong and can target the top."
The captain also had some amusing words in hand for Napoli's newest signings. "Koulibaly is the size of a wardrobe! Michu is a tall hitman, strong in the air and physical, so we needed someone like him."
The size of a wardrobe. I like that. Well in, Marekiaro.