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Thursday December 21 2017
Evergreen Quagliarella

Veteran forward Fabio Quagliarella has enjoyed a renaissance since returning to Sampdoria, notes Nick Valerio, but there’s no place like home.

After bursting on to the scene some 10 years ago, Fabio Quagliarella has now come full circle. The striker is back where he shot to top tier prominence and is well on track to eclipsing a personal best figure of 13 league goals in a domestic term.

The Castellammare di Stabia native currently has more goals than the 2016-17 Capocannoniere Edin Dzeko, highlighting the level he is operating at. No mean feat for a soon to be 35-year-old. Can he keep that scoring rate up? It's worth a look at football free bets uk.

It hasn’t been all plain sailing for the Italian, who has every reason to wonder what could have been if he wasn’t struck down by a knee ligament injury in January 2011. The then-Juventus hitman was the club’s top scorer with nine strikes in 17 matches and would have almost certainly led the line for the rest of the campaign.

Quagliarella’s competition at the time included the inconsistent Mirko Vucinic and the workmanlike pairing of Marco Borriello and Alessandro Matri, and while all three options had their merits, they didn’t possess the talent of the Neapolitan.

This term, the Blucerchiati number 27 has been the main beneficiary of Marco Giampaolo’s tactics and is thriving as the star man. The side is set up to get the best out of Quagliarella and in Lucas Torreira, Dennis Praet and Gaston Ramirez, the striker is surrounded by like-minded technicians who have been instrumental in the stalwart’s rebirth.

Alongside the former Bianconeri attacker is Duvan Zapata and the duo have scored an impressive 15 league goals between them, putting the champions to the sword in the process. The partnership had worked well in tandem and they complement each other perfectly.

Duvan Zapata is the brute strength to Quagliarella’s flair. The Colombian does the heavy work, easing the burden for a teammate who, while in the twilight of his career, has always been in good shape and is showing no signs of slowing down just yet.

Key to Quagliarella’s continued presence in Italy’s top flight is his versatility. Capable of playing anywhere across the front line as a lone striker, with a fellow forward or in a wide role. The seasoned pro has often featured as an attacking midfielder and has the expertise to occupy such positions while maintaining a very high standard.

Quagliarella is of course known for the spectacular and has a highlight reel rivalled by few. Acrobatically gifted and famed for his efforts from distance, the audacious has become the norm. The ability to make something out of nothing will never be lost, and this has been on display at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

This weekend will be an emotional fixture for Quagliarella, who comes face-to-face with hometown club Napoli. The striker joined the San Paolo outfit in 2009 and it’ll be his first visit since the truth of his departure became known.

He stunned everyone earlier this year when revealing he had for five years been tortured by a stalker nightmare that forced him out of his home town and his beloved club. Treated as a traitor for going to Juventus, the outpouring of warmth and genuine apologies from the Napoli faithful was truly rewarding.

It has been suggested the key to Arkadiusz Milik’s injury and allowing Dries Mertens to rest would be bringing Quagliarella home. If he is given the welcome we expect on Saturday, Fabio might never want to leave again.

Have your say...
One of my all-time favorites. Unique player, great man.

Very underrated and very, very unlucky.
on the 29th December, 2017 at 12:46pm
A decent player. Not worth writing about. Not really reached a good level in Serie A. He should not play for Italy or Napoli. This is the same deluded Ventura type thinking.
on the 24th December, 2017 at 1:24pm
Agree Marco! Much like in 2014 when Luca Toni deserved to be in the world cup squad.
on the 22nd December, 2017 at 10:33am
Would love to see Napoli sign Quagliarella in January to bolster the scudetto run. He deserves to return home and retire in a Napoli jersey.
on the 21st December, 2017 at 9:50pm
Agreed - the only Italian other than Ciro near the top of the capocannoniere chart. Alas - il mister with a whopping trophy haul of one Serie C and two Serie D thought otherwise.
on the 21st December, 2017 at 9:25pm
Agreed Marco. He is deadly off the bench because he can score from distance, and make something out of nothing.
on the 21st December, 2017 at 9:12pm
Yes, I keep thinking if he was there, it could've made the difference. I like Belotti a lot and he did great last season, but he was injured and not fully fit and rushed back.

And Immobile also was rushed back. Don't care if Quagliarella is 35 but if he could've done the job in the qualifier, Italy could've won.

That and 4-3-3 should've been used with the wingers. But they missed it anyway
on the 21st December, 2017 at 8:57pm
He Deserved to be in the squad for the playoff against Sweeden, in place of Eder anyway!
on the 21st December, 2017 at 9:47am

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