Any of you guys that follow me on Twitter will see that I got accepted in to the GiveMeSport academy. As I mentioned, I’m not sure how easy, or how hard, it is to be accepted, but nevertheless it’s a step in the right direction and I was really pleased (so let’s just go with it being really, really hard to get into).
To apply you had to write a bit about why you think you’d be a good writer, stating whether you’ve had journalistic training etc and then a 250-500 word article showing what you bring to the table. I won’t include what I wrote about myself as that’s not what we are here for. However, with the site allowing you to post your articles 24 hours after it has been published, I thought I’d share with you the article that got me in. The truth is, I don’t think they publish the application articles on the site, so I don’t think it would matter too much anyway, but just to be safe I waited a bit before sharing it on here. I wrote it before last night’s second leg games, and it focusses on Napoli’s Marek Hamsik and how his talent often goes unnoticed. So, without further ado, here is the short article that secured my place at GMS. Enjoy. With Napoli tearing apart Wolfsburg in the Europa League last week, there were many outstanding performances to speak of, but one in particular that I wanted to highlight. Napoli’s enigmatic captain, Marek Hamsik, put in another excellent performance for his club, and with his fourth goal in the competition with just his 12th shot, it struck me that although we all know who he is, do we really appreciate his talent? It seems that with Juventus’ domination of Serie A as well as the complete collapse of the Milan sides, appreciation for Italian teams, as well as any interest in their league, is rapidly declining. Not only does the reputation of the league suffer because of this, but also that of some of its star attractions.
There are living legends like Pirlo and Totti who are never too far from the spotlight. There are also cult heroes, ex-Arsenal winger Gervinho for example, whose spaghetti-leg styled of play has conjured up many funny and shambolic moments, as well as the odd impressive one (and with a forehead like that, I suppose it’s pretty hard to stay out of the public eye). However, the genuine quality that remains in the league barely gets a second look, with Napoli themselves being home to many of those who have seemingly slipped under the radar. The likes of Gonzalo Higuain, José Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne have all had some degree of exposure in the past, but with their move to Italy came a sudden fall, right off the face of the earth. And although the focus of this article, Hamsik, often finds himself the centrepiece of every transfer gossip column each summer, his loyalty to Napoli and permanent fixture as their club captain has maybe been detrimental to the global reputation that he, and his audacious mohawk, may well deserve. The Slovakian international has amassed 26 assists in the last three seasons with 182 key passes to boot. When comparing these stats with other creative midfielders, they remain just as impressive as they sound. Andrea Pirlo, for many the pass-master general behind both his club side and the national team, clocked 180 key passes in this time, with just 16 assists. Both impressive, yes, but none can argue Hamsik’s are the more so. This is just one small example of the talent which Marek Hamsik possesses and the point of this short article is to highlight just how much of it he has. Pirlo has been the star of the best teams in Italy for an eternity now, whilst penanka penalties against England and a glorious beard have helped him acquire a worldwide fanbase. Hamsik on the other hand, despite possessing better stats than Pirlo, has fallen into the footballing abyss. As mentioned, whispers of his name can be heard when the transfer windows opens, but as firmly as this window shuts on deadline day, so it would seem, does Hamsik’s hopes, and my own, for widespread recognition of his magnificent ability.