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Euroscout: Ezequiel Lavezzi

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We study the threat Ezequiel Lavezzi will pose to Manchester City in the Champions League.

Player: Ezequiel Iván Lavezzi

Date of birth: 3 May 1985 (age 26)

Place of birth: Villa Gobernador Gálvez

Nationality: Argentina

Height: 1.73m (5ft 8in)

Position: Forward

Current club: Napoli

Number: 22

Former clubs: Estudiantes, San Lorenzo

Background: City and
their team of all-stars may start as warm favourites but Napoli have a few weapons of their own to brandish in the heat
of battle.None more so than the buzzing forward Lavezzi, a stocky figure who
snagged plaudits for his role in his helping the Naples club return to the
Champions League for the first time since they won Serie A back in the days of
Diego Maradona.

Lavezzi
impressed as Napoli began the season with a 3-1 win on Cesena's artificial
surface in Serie A last Saturday. He netted the opening goal for his club with
a delightful piece of opportunism and awareness.

At such moments, it is little
wonder that Napoli are demanding €32 million Euros for the attacking forward.
Internazionale have apparently studied the possibility of bringing Lavezzi to
the club over the past few months.

He scored six goals and played provider 12 times as Napoli finished
third in the Serie A table last season.

It could
well be a battle of two in-form Argentina strikes to decide who settles his
match after Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick in City's 3-0 win over Wigan
Athletic on Saturday.

"I do not care as every game played becomes
history," said Lavezzi after hearing that Aguero had been among the goals.

"This match was used to get confidence, but we will hope that Aguero's
hat-trick has exhausted him..."

Lavezzi has enjoyed some success against
English sides in Europe in recent times. He netted the opening goal during a 3-1
defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in the Europa League last year.

Analysis: (from Napoli 3-1 Cesena on September 10)3' - Lavezzi races onto a
probing long throw-in before whacking a right foot volley into
the net from close range.

5' - Lavezzi again at the heart of the action with Cesena scrambling to recover
their poise. A visiting attack is ended when Giuseppe Colucci hauls Lavezzi to
the deck.

8' - Lavezzi forced to defend but this shows his work ethic for the team. He is penalised for pulling back Antonio
Candreva.

13' - Lavezzi goes to the deck in instalments, but the referee waves play on.
His urgency to make runs and gamble on a ball dropping to him is noteworthy.

18' - Again Lavezzi opts for a theatrical dive, but nothing doing.

35' - Should have been two as he manages to earn some space in
the penalty area. Prods a shot wide from five yards out.

66' - Lavezzi fed a corner to Marek Hamsik, who fed Hugo Campagnaro to bundle
the ball home from close range.

72' - With Cesana reduced to 10 men, Lavezzi continues to look animated. Almost
on the end of a pass as Napoli push for a third

83' - Lavezzi departs to be replaced by Federico Fernandes.

Player ratings:

Speed: 9/10

Finishing: 8/10

Passing: 8/10

Dribbling: 8/10

Technique: 9/10

Approximate value: £20 million

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