Ciro Immobile: Defending Lazio’s Italian Striker

Some have viewed Lazio’s Ciro Immobile as an unworthy Capocannoniere, citing the contribution of penalties to his overall goal tally of 36. Others have also questioned his nerve in big games… Is that fair? Below, a look at the facts.

Ciro Immobile / Italy, Source- Getty Images
Ciro Immobile / Italy, Source- Getty Images

While it is true that Immobile’s 14 goals from the spot is much greater than Gonzalo Higuain’s three in 2015/16, this is the new reality of the VAR era. Penalties will be a crucial source of goals for any future Capocannoniere; to illustrate this point, his nearest rival this 2019/20 Serie A season was Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo who had 12 penalties.

No player won more penalties in Serie A this season than Immobile. Over one-third of the penalties he took (5) were the fruits of his own labour.

Immobile got on the scoresheet in many of the bigger games this season; against Atalanta, Milan, Napoli, Inter, and Juventus to be exact. Throughout his entire career, his record against the top clubs in Italy is:

  • Juventus: 6 goals in 17 appearances
  • Inter: 4 goals in 17 appearances
  • Napoli: 5 goals in 11 appearances
  • Milan:5 goals in 14 appearances
  • Roma: 6 goals in 9 appearances

Immobile’s 2019/20 goal total could easily have been greater. He hit the woodwork 7 times. This was the joint highest by any player in Serie (level with Torino’s Andrea Belotti).

Immobile has shown himself to be much more than just a finisher. His total of 9 assists this 2019/20 season was considerably higher than any of his rivals (Ronaldo: 5, Romelu Lukaku: 2, Francesco Caputo: 7, Duvan Zapata: 6, Edin Dzeko: 7, Belotti: 3) and higher than Higuain’s 2 assists in the 2015/16 season.

This content was first seen on Twitter, provided by @CalcioEngland