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Napoli's Dries Mertens has been disguising his identity to feed the homeless

The Belgian goal machine has shown his altruistic side in downtown Naples

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One of those stories which restores your faith in the game's humanity, now.

In December, Napoli's Dries Mertens experienced - by his standards - a slight downturn in form. By the middle of the month his touch had returned, however, and after a particularly strong showing in his side's 3-1 away win over Torino, the Belgian forward returned to Naples that evening. According to Corriere Del Mezzogiorno, he set off into the night to visit a local pizzeria with a couple of friends.

Mertens and his pals then spent the rest of the evening - in December, remember - cutting up Margheritas and delivering them to homeless people across the city.

Before you get cynical thinking that this was some type of staged PR stun, though, Mertens actually went out in disguise so as not to be recognised. Given his fame it was likely that a couple of pictures would find their way onto social media, but evidently that wasn't the case and only now has the forward's act of kindness gone public. 

The more you read about Mertens, the more likeable he seems to be – the pizza incident wasn't a one-off. Mertens has a reputation for reaching out to the poor or disadvantaged members of society: he's a regular in the region's children's hospitals, adopts abandoned dogs with his wife, while they've also provided substantial financial support to a local rescue shelter threatened with closure.

What a great bloke. 

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