For so long Serie A was famed for brilliant defenders and Catenaccio football, but Italy’s top-flight has also had its fair share of brilliant goal-getters.
Some top-shelf marksmen have worn the number 9 jersey in Serie A over the years. Here are the finest.
No better place to start than with arguably the best player ever to wear the number 9 jersey. R9 is a two-time World Cup winner and was the most expensive player in history back in 1997 when Inter paid Barcelona €26.5m for the brilliant Brazilian’s services. How times have changed.
🇦🇷 Gabriel Batistuta
Nicknamed “Batigol“, the prolific Argentine is part of an elite group of players in history to score 200+ goals for one club. He struck 203 times for Fiorentina between 1991 and 2000 and is a legit South American and Italian football legend.
The career of Gabriel Batistuta. pic.twitter.com/ICLFE3AWit
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) August 17, 2021
🇮🇹 Filippo Inzaghi
Speaking about Pipo Inzaghi’s predatory instincts in front of goal, Sir Alex Ferguson said “that lad must have been born offside.” Inzaghi was Serie A’s top scorer in 1996-97, is a World Cup winner and has won multiple Champions League and Scudetto titles. A Serie A legend, Inzaghi is now the head coach of Serie B outfit Brescia.
🇦🇷 Hernán Crespo
Lazio shelled out a mind-boggling €56.8m to sign Crespo from Parma all the way back in 2000. He’s scored goals and won titles everywhere he’s gone, including three consecutive Scudettos alongside Zlatan for Inter between 2007 and 2009. He also had a brief managerial stint with São Paulo.
A man who needs no real introduction. Back at Milan for a second stint at the club, the super Swede has won four Serie A titles in his career spanning stints with Juventus, Milan and Inter. He continues to defy logic and turns 41 in October this year.
🇮🇹 Luca Toni
Toni struck 31 times for unfancied Fiorentina in the 2005-06 season to land him the Capocannoniere. 157 goals in 344 Italian top-flight appearances is a brilliant record, and he’s also got a 2006 World Cup winner’s medal in his cabinet.
🇦🇷 Gonzalo Higuaín
In 2015-16, Higuaín hit 36 Serie A goals for Napoli, the joint-highest single-season total in history. Higuaín’s a well-travelled player having represented River Plate, Real Madrid, Napoli, Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea and now Inter Miami.
🇮🇹 Gianluca Vialli
A close friend of Italy manager Roberto Mancini, Gianluca Vialli captained Juventus in the 1996 Champions League final, and that’s the last time that The Old Lady won European club football’s most coveted prize.
Tanti auguri bomber e fratellino. Un giorno ideale per il compleanno.
— Roberto Mancini (@robymancio) July 9, 2021
🇦🇷 Mauro Icardi
Now with PSG, Icardi scored 124 goals in 219 appearances for Inter (a club he captained at the age of 22). He also collected the Capocannoniere in 2015 and 2018 as Serie A’s leading marksman.
🇧🇪 Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku’s €115m move to Chelsea makes him the most expensive footballer in history, in terms of accumulated transfer fees. He shone briefly and brightly as the focal point of the Nerazzurri attack:
⚫️🔵 Lukaku’s Inter story:
🏟 94 matches
⚽️ 64 goals
🅰️ 16 assists
🥇 Serie A winner & MVP in 2021
⚡️ Quickest Inter player to hit 50 goals
🇮🇹 7th Inter player to hit 20+ in consecutive Serie A seasons
🕰 But now, Big Rom has unfinished business at Stamford Bridge. pic.twitter.com/rBW7xZT67M
— Futaa.com (@Futaacom) August 9, 2021
🇧🇦 Edin Džeko
One of the most underrated strikers of his generation, Džeko was the first player in history to hit 50+ goals in three separate top five European leagues. After a goal-filled spell with Roma, he’s continuing to find the back of the net with regularity for Italian champions Inter.
New Roma man Tammy Abraham is donning the number 9 jersey vacated by Džeko, and he’s doing a fine job so far. He’s still got a way to go to join this elite category but the early signs are promising, with the 24-year-old quickly becoming a fan favourite in the Italian capital:
A string of impressive goal-scoring displays in his debut season with the club has seen him notch 10 goals & three assists from 22 appearances in the top-flight. Only Dušan Vlahović, Ciro Immobile, Giovanni Simeone and Lautaro Martínez have scored more.
Do you think that Tammy will become one of Serie A’s great number 9s?