Barcelona

Boateng thinks Messi should honour Maradona by joining Napoli

Former Barcelona team-mate Kevin-Prince Boateng believes Lionel Messi should follow in Diego Maradona's footsteps and see out his career at Napoli.

Messi urged to honour Maradona by leaving Barca for Napoli

Kevin-Prince Boateng feels Barcelona's Lionel Messi could do worse that join Napoli as a tribute to club and Argentina legend Diego Maradona. Maradona – arguably football's greatest ever player – died at the age of 60 after suffering heart failure last month.

Napoli remember Maradona

Napoli renamed their stadium to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in honour of the 1986 World Cup winner, who guided the Serie A side to their only Scudetto triumphs in 1987 and 1990 after arriving from Barcelona  in 1984.

Messi removed his Barça shirt to reveal a Newell's Old Boys jersey emblazoned with Maradona's famous number 10 after scoring in last month's 4-0 LaLiga rout of Osasuna. But former Barça team-mate Boateng wants six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi – who has been heavily linked to Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain – to do more to pay tribute to his countryman.

"I often hear of the comparison between Messi and Maradona and therefore I'll make a proposal to Leo," Boateng, who now plays for Serie B outfit Monza alongside Mario Balotelli, told ESPN. "He should go to Napoli after his contract with Barcelona expires. It would be great if he himself called [president Aurelio] De Laurentiis and said: 'I'm coming'. Even if they have retired the No 10 shirt, 'I would like to honour Maradona's No 10 and come and play for a year or two at Napoli', without thinking about money, just the heart. Maybe then he manages to win a championship and then it would be the apotheosis, a movie story. If I were him, I would think about it. By now, he has won everything at club level, closing in a legendary way would be incredible."