Each week when we compile our Serie A round-up another intriguing name keeps popping up on the screen: Ciro Immobile.
The Torino striker has been absolutely dynamite for his club, leading the league in scoring and daring Italy not to select him for the World Cup. He’s strong in the box, an MLS comparison being Chris Wondolowski.
The best part for the Italian faithful? He’s just 24.
The 24 year old is Serie A’s top scorer on 21 goals ahead of legends such as Balotelli, Tevez, Toni, Higuain and Rossi. However, with just one senior Italian cap to his name, many believe he is too inexperienced to be considered a sure thing for Brazil. But as Serie A’s leading scorer, he is also becoming increasingly hard to overlook even though Cesare Prandelli tries to find a balance between talented youngsters and experienced veterans.
Prandelli has also stated his belief that he needs strong athletes throughout his squad given the Brazilian heat and the physical intensity of football’s month long jamboree that is the World Cup. Medical and fitness tests were held at Italy’s Coverciano training complex earlier this month to assist the Italian coach in his assessment of 42 players.
The goals have come against big names, too, with Inter Milan, Roma and AC Milan among the victims. By kicking off an active six-match goal streak with a hat trick against Livorno — in just 76 minutes — he’s bringing that great form right into the run-up to Brazil. With big names like Gilardino, Balotelli and Destro — maybe even Rossi — fighting for spots alongside him, can he make the big stage?