Dries Mertens' four-goal haul for Napoli against Torino didn't sink in
Napoli winger Dries Mertens said he could "hardly believe it" after becoming the first Napoli player to score four goals in a game since Beppe Savoldi on Dec. 18, 1977, as the Partenopei ran out 5-3 winners against Torino.
Mertens, 29, scored three times in nine minutes, making this hat trick the fourth fastest in the history of Serie A, and it was also his second treble in successive games -- the last player to do that was Pietro Anastasi for Juventus in 1974.
It took the Belgium international's tally for the season to 10 goals this season, including seven in the past seven days.
"I don't quite realise what I've done -- I will watch the game again when I get home," he told Mediaset after the match. "Today was an important game because our [direct] rivals have lost and three points would have been key for us.
"We made it, but we have Fiorentina next, which is another tough fixture. We are doing well and when the team play solidly I can play as a false nine, but if we play with long balls I find it harder."
I woke up like this �� pic.twitter.com/ZFByi967wH- Dries Mertens (@dries_mertens14) December 19, 2016
Asked whether his fourth goal was a 'Maradona goal,' he added: "I've got a long way to go still."
He is certainly playing his way into the Napoli fans' hearts, however, and helping them forget about the sale of Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus last summer.
To that end, club president Aurelio De Laurentiis took pleasure in reminding reporters at the postmatch press conference of how well the Belgian is doing this season.
"I might be mistaken but he's scored 10 goals -- just like Higuain, right?" he said.