NAPLES- It was nice: but while in the air the echo of thegoodbye from Mertens, in the overlapping images a veil of melancholy emerges. There sensation that it was overas well as happens to a “poignant” love story, had been perceived for quite a while but the official tear – that point of no return – in a de facto separation, equally leaves a aftertaste most bitter for a city that by now had only one idol, a totem nailed not in its own imagination but in the skin and emotions that football knows how to empathically let germinate. Mertens was a feeling, not simply 148 goals and all the figures that can only represent the dryness of statistics that reach the heart. Mertens represented a habit, a glimpse of modernitya state of mind, the (not scenic) human representation of the tout court reproduction of a street urchin perfectly equal to the very nature of that Naples crossed with pride and the “rogue” smile.
Mertens has become, through his own merits and that of Sarri who invented it, the center forward purer, more whimsical and extroverted than a contemporary fable, the dream lived caressing veronicas and devilry, lobs and hyperbole recited with the delicacy of a poet. Mertens it’s a photography spread in nine years – an infinite time, which in fact remains – and which has filled the eyes of that Naples become his Homeland adoptivethe cradle of a new life that in 2013 would have taken possession of him, without ever being touched by temptation to leave it behind. Mertens was the hero next door, dearest, loyal standard bearer of an era that has closed with his farewell and that of Insigne, cerebral champions, all fake and masterpieces even sniffing in their “no looks”. Mertens was together with Insigne it’s at Callejon the (almost) theatrical representation of a football that has long become sublimevery tender cuddles but spreading gray matter and talent, a melody to be spread to anesthetize the sculpted and marble muscles of another kick. Mertens that leaves Naples – and with him too Insigne – is a caress on the past and therefore the languid farewell from the splendor of utopia. Nothing lasts forever.
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