Georgian star’s EURO 2024 campaign justifies former Barcelona coach’s interest


Georgia's forward #07 Khvicha Kvaratskhelia celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group F football match between Georgia and Portugal at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen on June 26, 2024.
Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images

Before Hansi Flick took over at FC Barcelona, his predecessor also had big plans at the club. Promised some signings in the summer, Xavi Hernandez had some clear names in mind. Even before his eventual sacking, the former Barcelona coach was already planning which players he wanted to pursue.

Besides just the acquisition of a new pivot, Xavi wanted to reinforce his team with an elite left-winger. While Barcelona are now mainly focusing on the likes of Nico Williams, Luis Diaz, or Dani Olmo, Xavi had his sights on a different player over in the Italian Serie A.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, aged 23, is one of Georgia’s finest-ever football players and is currently one of the big stars of Napoli. Even though Xavi wanted to bet on him earlier, the player has gone on to do nothing but prove him right through his displays at the ongoing European Championship, as highlighted by SPORT.

The left-winger, known for his immense dribbling ability and eye for goal contributions, ended up blowing everyone away thanks to his MVP performance against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. By scoring a crucial goal and helping his Georgian team win 2-0 over the 2016 Euros winners, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia helped Georgia reach historic new heights.

The former Barcelona coach’s main target was seen putting all his best attributes on display. With performances such as these, and now Georgia’s Round of 16 clash against Spain hanging in the balance, the Napoli star’s value will only continue to rise exponentially.

However, Napoli are in no mood to let go of their star winger anytime soon. The owner, and president, of the club, Aurelio de Laurentiis, just so happens to be quite adamant about his objective with the Georgian star and one of the long-time objectives of Barcelona:

“There are no problems with Kvaratskhelia. He has a contract, and we will offer him a new deal. I don’t see any issue.”

Even Napoli’s new coach, Antonio Conte, has no intentions of letting Barcelona or any other club even near Kvaratskhelia for the time being: “No doubt. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is staying here and will play for Napoli.”

As it stands, both from a negotiating perspective and that of a financial one, the 23-year-old winger seems to be off-limits for Barcelona. They will likely keep their attention towards the other wingers still on their radar, and Napoli’s star winger will continue to focus on his big battle up ahead against Luis de la Fuente’s Spain, a team that houses many Barcelona stars and starlets.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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