The Sampdoria veteran is in the form of his life as he prepares to turn 36, and is challenging Juventus’ superstar for the Capocanniere crown
Evergreen Sampdoria marksman Fabio Quagliarella equalled a record previously held by legendary striker Gabriel Batistuta to move clear as the Serie A’s top scorer.
Set to turn 36 at the end of January, the former Juventus, Napoli, Udinese and Italy man is enjoying an Indian summer to his career in his second spell at Sampdoria.
In 2017-18 he netted 19 goals for the Genoa club to finish fourth in the Capocanniere standings behind Mauro Icardi, Ciro Immobile and Paulo Dybala – and he is making an even stronger bid for the title this term.
Quagliarella was on target from the penalty spot on Saturday to put his team 1-0 up against Udinese.
It was his 15th goal of the season, putting him ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata as the league’s most prolific forward so far.
In finding the net once more, moreover, the veteran moved within touching distance of a Serie A milestone that has stood for almost a quarter-century.
Batistuta was the last man to score in 11 consecutive Serie A games, a mark the Argentine hitman reached in 1994 while playing for Fiorentina.
If Quagliarella converts next Saturday against Napoli, two days after his 36th birthday, he will therefore enjoy outright ownership of that record.
The striker’s goals have also propelled Sampdoria into the top half of the table, having tasted defeat just once in their last eight outings.
Victory against Udinese would put the club just one point behind AC Milan, the current occupants of the fourth and final Champions League qualifying spot, although the Rossoneri can restore their advantage with victory over Napoli in Saturday’s later kick-off.