Immobile: the goal king of Serie A

by | May 23, 2022 10:33

Ciro Immobile was once again the king of goals in Serie A, becoming the first Italian striker to win the Capocannoniere award four times, writes Stephen Kasiewicz.

Denigrated for his national team performances, the Lazio attacker has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that domestically he is among the very best in the modern era. In claiming the Capocannoniere crown at the age of 32, the Campania-born striker has not only defied any remaining critics but shown he is still at the peak of his career.

Immobile claims the Paolo Rossi award – fittingly named after the legendary 1982 World Cup winner who was leading scorer in the 1977-78 season with Vicenza – after netting 27 goals in 31 games ahead of a pack of young guns who pushed him all the way in the coveted race for the scoring title.

Dusan Vlahovic finished a close second after a blistering start to the season at Fiorentina before finding it far more difficult to replicate his early form at Juventus. The Serbian hitman was followed by Inter‘s marksman Argentinean Lautaro Martinez with Gianluca Scamacca and Giovanni Simeone tied for fourth after excellent seasons at Sassuolo and Hellas Verona, respectively.

Immobile’s legacy as one of the most reliable and prolific strikers in the history of Calcio is undeniable.

As the winner of the 2021-2022 Capocannoniere he is now just one title away from equalling Milan‘s Swedish goal machine Gunnar Nordahl who holds the record with five top scorer prizes from 1949-1955.

Comparisons between players in different generations often spark furious but ultimately pointless debates on social media. The innumerable factors that separate the achievements in disparate time periods render arguments hollow and full of obvious fallacies. Yet Immobile can be content with the fact he has elevated himself above a number of the finest forwards to have ever graced the Italian game.

The bare statistics speak for themselves. In moving to four leading goalscorer crowns the Lazio attacker climbs above Inter’s venerated forward Guiseppe Meazza, Cagliari great Gigi Riva, Juventus Fantasista Michel Platini and fellow Biancocelesti idol Giuseppe Signori, among others.

It’s a phenomenal landmark for a striker who is also the joint record holder for the highest number of goals netted in a single campaign – 36 in the 2019-20 term, a feat also equalled by Torino‘s Gino Rossetti and Gonzalo Higuaín at Napoli.

Known for his perseverance, longevity and stamina, Immobile first won the Capocannoniere in the 2013-14 term at Torino, netting 22 goals. He finished the 2017-2018 campaign as the joint leading scorer on 29 at Lazio alongside Inter’s Mauro Icardi before a milestone season a year later in which he struck 36 times. Now he stands alone again, uncontested as the finest goalscoring attacker in all of Italy, with 27 goals in 31 Serie A appearances.

Prompted by the outstanding midfield talents of Sergej Milinković-Savić and Luis Alberto the former Genoa, Torino and Borussia Dortmund sharpshooter has been provided with the kind of outstanding service all strikers relish. While a sizeable contingent of Azzurri fans bemoans his profligacy on the international stage, Immobile has been typically ruthless this term in Serie A.

A speedy poacher capable of finishing from all manner of distances and angles, he began the campaign by netting four goals in the opening two games.

A trusted penalty taker, he struck from the spot at promoted Empoli on the opening day of the season and then plundered a hat-trick in a 6-1 demolition of Spezia at the Stadio Olimpico; starting with a deft chipped finish, a superb first time shot from distance and finishing with a well positioned back post header.

He was also deadly against the league’s biggest clubs, calmly converting a penalty as Lazio recovered from a goal down to defeat Inter 3-1 at home last October. Doubles against Sampdoria and Salernitana ensured he remained at the top of the goalscoring charts and his superb form continued as Lazio entered the final stretch of the campaign.

Effective in the air and always well positioned for through balls and crosses, he netted six times in a four-match spell. Another hat-trick in Lazio’s 4-1 thrashing of Genoa showed Immobile at his unplayable best, illustrating why he has few peers in Italy in the fine art of goalscoring. The man with the golden touch has a phenomenal record of 182 goals in 291 Serie A games and unaffected by age, looks set to challenge for more Capocannoniere titles and records next term.


1 Comment



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *