In April 2018, according to information from, Khvicha graduated from Kvaratskhelia SPOX and GOAL a trial session on the FC Bayern Munich campus. Despite convincing performances, a transfer failed. Today, the 22-year-old Georgian from SSC Napoli is one of the best offensive players in the world.
In Naples they call it Kvaradona and not for nothing. With his inscrutable dribbles and lightning movements, tender ball handling and wide-ranging vision, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is indeed reminiscent of the legendary, now-deceased Diego Armando Maradona. Like the Argentinian icon once, the 22-year-old Georgian enchants SSC Napoli today. Thanks largely to Kvaradona, Napoli are close to winning their first Scudetto in 23 years since Maradona.
But this story almost didn’t happen and Kvaratskhelia probably didn’t get this wonderful nickname either. Namely, if FC Bayern Munich had actually signed him in 2018 after a convincing trial session on campus. Who would name a potential FC Bayern superstar Kvaradona? Maybe rather Kvarabauer or Kvarascholl, but of course that sounds much less nice.
According to information from SPOX and GOAL, the then 17-year-old Kvaratskhelia completed a one-week trial in Munich in April 2018. He inspected the premises of the campus that had opened a year earlier and was invited to a professional team game in the Allianz Arena.
Those responsible for the campus were convinced of Kvaratskhelia both on a sporting and personal level, and the player was also generally interested – but in the end a change didn’t materialize. According to reports, the topic was not followed up consistently enough afterwards.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia: His route from Dinamo Tbilisi to Napoli
Even then, Kvaratskhelia was considered a great talent. In 23 games for the Georgia U17 national team, the left winger scored 27 points. In 2017 he won the Aleksandre Chivadze award for the most promising player in his age group in his home country. In 2018 the English took him Guardians in his list of the 60 greatest talents in the world – and curiously compared him to three German players in an accompanying article: Julian Draxler, Julian Brandt and Leroy Sané.
After first professional appearances for Dinamo Tbilisi, Kvaratskhelia left his youth club in March 2018 due to contract disputes and temporarily joined the small suburban club FC Rustavi. Because a transfer to FC Bayern failed, Kvaratskhelia went on loan to Lokomotiv Moscow on his 18th birthday and in the summer of 2019 – now as a senior national player – to Rubin Kazan.
During his three years in Kazan, Kvaratskhelia developed into one of the best players in the Russian Premier League and caught the interest of FC Bayern again in 2021. “I am convinced that he will end up at Real Madrid or Bayern,” said his agent Nobel Dzhugueli at the time.
Again there was no transfer and so Kvaratskhelia left Kazan only after Russia attacked Ukraine in March 2022. He was then temporarily employed by the Georgian first division club Dinamo Batumi, but of course he was far too good for the league of his small home country. Last summer Napoli struck for €11.5m and the rest is Kvaradona.
FC Bayern: Jude Bellingham also stopped by the campus
In 34 competitive games this season, Kvaratskhelia scored 30 points. Only a few points are missing to win the Scudetto. On Tuesday, Kvaratskhelia will fight Napoli for a place in the Champions League semi-finals. The quarter-final first leg against AC Milan was lost 0-1.
Incidentally, Kvaratskhelia is not the only top star today that FC Bayern watched early on but ultimately did not sign. In 2019, the then 15-year-old Jew Bellingham also stopped by the campus, but initially decided to stay at Birmingham City and a year later to switch to Borussia Dortmund.
FC Bayern reported two other talents in 2019: Jamal Musiala came from Chelsea and Alphonso Davies from the Vancouver Whitecaps. Both transfers should be worthwhile. And unlike Kvaratskhelia, the Munich team didn’t miss the next supposedly top Georgian talent either.
Last August, FC Bayern signed Luka Parkadze from Dinamo Tiflis. The now 18-year-old offensive all-rounder will only move to Munich this summer. In Georgia, by the way, Parkadze is already said to have similarities with Kvaratskhelia.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia: His stations in professional football