Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughMarek Hamsik is robbed at gunpoint… again - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Marek Hamsik is robbed at gunpoint… again - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Marek Hamsik is robbed at gunpoint… again

When a player agrees to sign for Napoli, they sign in order to ply their trade in front of one of the most passionate sect of fans in the world. They sign in an attempt to restore Napoli to the levels of glory and importance which Maradona achieved. Finally, they sign to test whether or not they can deal with being robbed at gunpoint.

The pressures associated with playing for Napoli ensure that the player either falls in love with the club… or despises the thought of ever returning to Naples. Several Napoli players must adopt this ideology as a way of convincing themselves that their general wellbeing is worth the wage and Partizan support.

Dealing with an armed robbery is now a mandatory element of the job description. Hamsik is the latest player to have been targeted by armed robbers. Hamsik was pulling out of the Stadio San Paolo following a 0-0 draw with Sampdoria, probably reflecting on having a daisy cutter shot flicked onto the post by Sergio Armero. If that wasn’t the case he was probably reflecting on how awful the state of the pitch was and wondering how on earth the groundsmen were still employed.

During this trail of thought, someone shoved a pistol into his face. Hamsik was waiting in traffic on Via Cinthia, when a scooter carrying three masked men pulled alongside his BMW. One of the brazen men smashed his driver window, before aiming a gun at his face and demanding his watch. The watch was a Rolex Daytona worth £8,600. Hamsik did as he was told and the scooter sped off into the distance.

For Hamsik, this isn’t the first time. In December 2008, he was the victim of a similar theft whilst enjoying his Christmas shopping. At the time, his car was a Mini and his assailants came in the shape of two rather than three. Other than this, it was an identical case for Hamsik which included the theft of his Rolex Daytona, again. It was reported by the Italian press that the watch had been recovered, after the assailants discovered who they had robbed. Hamsik told Slovakian publication Pravda: “That’s what came out in the newspapers but it wasn’t true. I was very sad about that watch, it was my favourite Rolex and it wasn’t cheap.” Sorry Marek, but you’re going to have to learn your lesson and never buy that watch again whilst living in Naples.

In 2011 his pregnant wife, Martina, had her car stolen at gunpoint. It was later recovered thanks to a satellite tracking device. Hamsik’s sister Miska hit Twitter to express her feelings she said: “This is the third time already. It’s disgusting.” A little over a year ago Yanina Screpante, the girlfriend of the then Napoli forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, used the same medium to define Naples as a “shit city” after having her own watch stolen. Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis replied to her claim: “In a climate of recession I think you should not go around with a Rolex on your arm.” I wonder if De Laurentiis will offer Hamsik the same type of advice?

Hamsik has been long viewed as a model player. Sixty-eight goals in five and a half seasons with the club represent a phenomenal return for a player who has shifted between roles in midfield and just behind the attack, and Hamsik’s approach to his work has rarely been anything other than exemplary. He is beloved of the fans and under contract to 2016. However, this third robbery must surely interfere with his feelings towards the city of Naples. The supporters will have to pray that he has just shrugged the incident off as a normality.

Edinson Cavani relocated his family to a residential complex with armed security after his home was broken into. Although a number of items taken from Cavani’s flat were later recovered after underworld bosses sent out a ‘request’ for them to be returned.  His wife also suffered the same fate as Lavezzi’s wife, after her watch was stolen. Another Napoli player to suffer at the hands of masked assailants is Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami.

Whilst Hamsik recovers from having a gun pointed in his face, the other Napoli players remain incensed with the state of the pitch. It could be argued that Napoli would be level on points with leader’s Juventus if their pitch was maintained properly. During the early stages of the season, the pitch resembled a poorly maintained beach following a fungus outbreak which had killed off all of the grass. The pitch looked playable this past week until tackles started flying in, which caused large clods of the pitch to fall apart. Napoli defender Paolo Cannavaro said: “It’s a miracle we have this many points, this pitch penalises the more technically gifted team.”

This week has been a frustrating one for Napoli, whilst a severely distressing one for Hamsik. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Hamsik and Cavani leave the Stadio San Paolo behind in order to play on a level playing surface, whilst also guaranteeing their personal safety.

The moral of the story? Don’t ever wear a Rolex if you live in Naples. Use your phone to tell the time instead.

Zak Bird.