In a decade dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the underrated Italian is near assured of winning the European Golden Shoe for the continent’s top scorer.
From Messi, to Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Robert Lewandowski and Erling Braut Haaland, nobody in Europe has managed to keep pace with the Naples-born player.
Immobile overtook Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski with his 35th goal against Brescia midweek, and will close his campaign against Napoli on Saturday.
Juventus star Ronaldo, on 31 goals, is four behind before the Serie A champions’ final game against Roma in Turin, in which he may not even play with the Champions League looming.
It would not be the first time that 30-year-old Immobile has topped the Serie A goal-scoring charts, having won the ‘Capocannoniere’ twice before in 2014 and 2018.
But he would become just the third Italian winner of the European Golden Shoe after Roma’s Francesco Totti (26) in 2007 and Luca Toni for Fiorentina in 2006 (31).
Another two goals on Saturday would also see him surpass Gonzalo Higuain’s Serie A record of 36 goals, set playing for Napoli in the 2015-16 season.
“I am only sorry that I cannot celebrate these numbers with the fans,” said Immobile, nicknamed ‘King Ciro’ in the capital, but whose career before arriving in Rome had been erratic.
Success has not followed onto the national team, where he has scored ten goals in 39 games, taking the brunt of criticism after Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Immobile started his career at Juventus, where he made just three appearances before a breakthrough loan season in 2011-2012 at Pescara where his 28 goals lifted the Serie B side into the top flight.