The Capocannoniere is the award given to the top scorer of Serie A. It has been there since 1923/24 when it was won by the Austrian striker Heinrich Schönfeld, till last season when Zlatan Ibrahimovic earned it for the second time of his career. The award has been won 59 times by Italians, eight times by Argentines and seven times by Swedes. For 13 times the capocannoniere was either a Milan or a Juventus player, 12 times an Interista and nine times from Torino. Milan’s Gunnar Nordahl achieved the title five times more than any other player and only he and Juve’s Michel Platini have won it three times in a row.
Of all the players who have won the capocannoniere only three are participating this season – Antonio Di Natale, Luca Toni and Francesco Totti. Let us take a look at the top contenders for this season.
Cavani arrived in Italy in January 2007 through the gates of the Sicilian side Palermo. The Uruguayan striker went on to score 37 goals with the Rosanero in four seasons even though he was struggling to get a starting spot due to presence of Fabrizio Miccoli and Amauri.
In 2010, El Matador merged with Aurelio De Laurentiis’ gang “The Napoleons”. In what can only be termed the breakthrough spell, the 25-year-old notched 33 goals in each of his two seasons in Naples, forming the deadly trio with Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi.
For a couple of years now Cavani has been the target of the top teams in Europe for his outstanding quality. So far his scoring rate has been better than that of the legendary Diego Armando Maradona and after the departure of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Walter Mazzarri’s new formation puts Cavani as the team’s only striker. This season he has aleady scored six goals in six appearances for El Partenopei and marked his 100th goal from the penalty spot against Sampdoria recently, can Cavani snatch the capocannoniere title this term for the first time in his career? He is certainly one of the favourites.
The year of vengeance! After two horrendous seasons between La Viola and Il Grifone netting only 19 goals, Il Gila finds himself wearing the #10 jersey and carrying the hopes of the fans of Stadio Renato Dall’Ara. The former Milan striker is well known for being the youngest Serie A player to reach 100 goals.
At his peak, Gilardino was one goal away from seizing his first capocannoniere title in two seasons but he lost to Andriy Shevchenko and Cristiano Lucarelli. Now the violinist is hoping to recapture his top form with the Rossoblù and he is well on his way after scoring five goals for Bologna. According to his contract, Gila will be awarded €50,000 for every 10 key contribution – goals, assists and penalties won.
The 30-year-old is hopeful to walk in the shoes of the great Roberto Baggio, Giuseppe Signori and Marco Di Vaio, with his contribution for Bologna. Gilardino can carve his name in the hearts of the Dall’Ara fans as well as the Azzurri’s after earning his recall from Cesare Prandelli to the Italian national side.
Antonio Di Natale
He has been in love with the Zebrette since 2004, Antonio Di Natale is the best goal scorer in the history of Udinese and known for his dribbling skills, pace and passing vision. Toto is the only player to win the capocannoniere twice in a row in the new millennium.
In past three seasons Toto was able to bag 86 goals for the little zebras, taking them to the top half of Serie A table in the last two seasons. Although Cesare Prandelli’s new project for Italy is to build a team of youngsters that could take Italy far in the future, the popular striker from Friuli forced the Italian coach to pick him for the Euros after his astonishing 29 goals last season, and was also able to score Italy’s first goal against Spain.
A lot of fans are skeptical on Di Natale’s chances of winning it this year because of his age and a weakened Udinese team every term, but note that the Italian stallion has already started to score for the Bianconeri this season.
The Argentine has won every single competition Serie A, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana, UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup with his current club. Milito has also been named “Serie A Footballer of the Year” for 2009/2010 season and was only one goal away from claiming the capocannoniere in 2008/2009.
Inter will be immensely relying this year on El Príncipe as his only replacement is teenager Marko Livaja, Milito may have not yet lived up to the hype by scoring three goals in Serie A till now but that was the same scenario last season which saw him hit some of his best form later.
With the presence of Wesley Sneijder, the arrival of Rodrigo Palacio and Antonio Cassano and the lots of faith put in Andrea Stramaccioni’s project, Milito can experience a golden season.
The Argentinean tango dancer is the kind of guy who wakes up late. Last season, he scored only four goals in 2011 and an astonishing 20 in 2012, so it might just a matter of time before he starts to stun fans with his miraculous hat-tricks.
He is the player that has been the target of Chelsea and Juventus for past two years but thanks to the Della Valle family Jovetic is now the center of Fiorentina’s revolutionized project under Vincenzo Montella.
Jo-Jo showed his outstanding quality and technique last season, leading the Viola upfront and proving he is one of the most gifted players in Serie A. He picked up a number of injuries last season but still managed to directly contribute in 46% of Fiorentina’s goals.
This season, Fiorentina has undergone a major overhaul and are one of favorites for a Champions League spot. With the likes of Alberto Aquilani, Borja Valero, David Pizarro and Juan Cuadrado assisting the Montenegrin striker from midfield, Jovetic has a golden chance to shine. He has already scored five goals for Viola and looks all set to walk in the footsteps of Gabriel Batistuta and Luca Toni.
Article Written By Ramez Youssef Nathan