It’s official: after several weeks of speculation and rumors and reports, Marek Hamsik has put pen to paper and signed a long-term extension with Napoli, and is now set to stay through the 2020 season.
Napoli’s captain and one of their all-time best players — clearly eclipsed only by Diego Maradona and rapidly closing that gap every year — has made over 400 appearances with the club and now looks set for at least a couple hundred more. Signing a longer-term contract — his previous deal was up in 2018, after next season — gives him and the club and the fans the security of knowing that Marek frickin’ Hamsik is going to be around to lead the team for a long, long time.
We’ve gone on at length dozens of times over the last few years about just how important Hamsik is to this team, even when he’s not playing at his best. And when he is at his best, there aren’t many midfielders who are better. Better yet, after two years of struggle under Rafa Benitez, Hamsik seemed to play better and better as he spent more time under Maurizio Sarri.
Even without He Who Shall No Longer Be Named in front of him, this Napoli side is one working on being a more complete side build around Hamsik’s qualities. We’re getting into the later years of his career, but having just turned 29, we’ve still got a couple top-notch years of Hamsik left at least. Now that he’s locked in, we’ve got plenty of time to enjoy Marekiaro, and that is a truly wonderful thing to know.