Lazio’s Ciro Immobile finished the 2019-20 season as the leading marksman in Italy and Europe. We take a look at his achievement.
Ciro Immobile completed a sensational individual season by scoring against Napoli in Lazio’s final Serie A outing.
The 30-year-old’s first-half strike in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat was his 36th goal in 37 top-flight appearances during 2019-20.
That astonishing return secured Immobile the Capocannoniere as Serie A’s top scorer, along with the coveted European Golden Shoe.
Here, with some help from Opta Paolo, we take a look at his special efforts.
Joining Serie A’s elite
If Immobile had managed a brace at Stadio San Paolo, he would have boasted the outright best season in Serie A history.
As it is, his 36 goals equalled the best mark in a single campaign set by Gonzalo Higuain in his Napoli days in 2015-16.
Immobile is only the fifth Italian to hit the 30-goal mark in his native country’s premier competition, following Giuseppe Meazza (1929-30), Felice Borel (1933-34), Antonio Angelillo (1958-59) and Luca Toni (2005-06).
Toni’s prolific 2005-06 with Fiorentina made him the first Italian to be crowned the leading marksman in Europe, with Roma great Francesco Totti following suit the next season.
Immobile becomes the third Italian on that list and the first winner from Serie A since Totti.
In the intervening period, 10 of the 13 Golden Shoes have found predictable homes, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo winning six and four respectively.
Messi’s Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez has two, while the latter’s countryman Diego Forlan came out on top thanks to a bountiful 2008-09 at Atletico Madrid.
Ronaldo’s 2007-08 campaign at Manchester United and Suarez’s 2013-14 for Liverpool marked the only two times the award had been outside LaLiga in between Totti and Immobile’s triumphs.
Making history at Lazio
Immobile is the third player to pass 100 goals in Serie A for Lazio, with his tally now at 103.
Club greats Silvio Piola and Giuseppe Signori are the Biancocelesti’s other centurions.
Piola scored 143 in Serie A, while Signori is now just four ahead of Immobile on 107.
All of Immobile’s Serie A goals for Lazio have come under Simone Inzaghi, amounting to the biggest haul for any player under a single head coach during Italy’s three-points-for-a-win era, which began in 1994-95.
Inzaghi is developing his leading forward’s game in more than one aspect. Immobile scored and supplied at least one assist in six Serie A games in 2019-20 – more than any other campaign in his career.
He finished the season with nine assists to his name.