Thursday July 4 2013
Arrivederci Edinson

With Edinson Cavani likely to leave Italy soon Dave Taylor looks back over his Napoli career and believes Serie A will have lost another big star.

Edinson Cavani ran into yards of space, collected a perfect through ball from Goran Pandev and then kissed it past the Roma ‘keeper with the inside of his left foot. That was four minutes after kick-off, whilst early in the second half, turning on another Pandev pass, his right-footer flashed past Mauro Goicoechea for his second. Twenty minutes later after several more goal-scoring attempts, the Napoli striker rose above the crowd to head home through the goalkeeper’s legs. It still wasn’t over and after narrowly missing with a free-kick, he had the ball in the net for a fourth time only to be ruled narrowly offside. Going clear on goal after that, only a fabulous finger-tip by Goicoechea saved Roma.

That performance in Week 19 of 2012-13 showed Cavani at his predatory best and nothing articulated his many assets more than that triple strike, as part of a 4-1 win. Not that many Napoli fans were surprised, as the omens that were portended in his first game, had been fulfilled many times over by then.

Yet sadly for fans of Italian football and especially those of Napoli, they might never see that sort of action again from the big Uruguayan. Regardless of your club loyalty it cannot be denied that the Matador has brought a touch of class to most proceedings. However, it seems that being successful in Serie A today, means invariably a transfer out of it tomorrow. There used to be a time when great players decided where they wanted to play and not go where teams offered the most money.

But back to reality, arriving in Naples for the 2010-11 season Cavani scored twice as Napoli beat Elfsborg 2-0 in the Europa League on his full debut in September. Anyone who saw him then, knew he would be a winner and somewhat inevitably Serie A would be a loser.

Just to put those omens to bed, three days later he headed home the opener in the 1-1 draw at Fiorentina in Serie A. It was the start of a spectacular campaign that saw him score a magnificent 26 goals in Serie A to help Napoli into third spot and bring them Champions League football.

In Europe the following season he was again worthy of top billing, scoring five goals in eight games, including strikes against Chelsea and Manchester City. Meanwhile in the League his 23 goals saw Napoli end the campaign in fifth spot.

However, in 2012-13 he moved into overdrive and by the start of the ritorno had scored 26 goals in all competitions, which included four cracking strikes against Dnipro, in the Europa League. It was a performance that rated a mind-blowing 10 out of 10 in the Gazzetta dello Sport. He also became a Serie A Centurion, scoring his 100th League goal in the 1-1 draw with Fiorentina in Week 21.

Yet Cavani’s impact has not been just about goals, it is also his attitude, which he demonstrates in defence. “Edinson is amazing, but not only for his goals,” said teammate midfielder Gokhan Inler. “He also helps a lot in defence and makes crucial tackles.” It is an ability to break down attacks from the front and more than pull his weight at the back that has been integral to Napoli’s success.

But it’s goals he is famous for and his 29 this season saw 17 come via his fabulous right foot. These include the howitzer of a free kick against Torino, that even Diego Maradona would have been proud to claim authorship. Another six came from his weaker left foot while the others were headers, as Napoli finished second and grabbed automatic Champions League entrance. “I just want to enter the hearts of the people and the history of the club,” he admitted. He certainly did that and history was his as he lifted the prestigious Scarpa d’Oro award. The last time a Napoli player won the top-scorer prize was when Maradona lifted it in 1987-88 with 15 in 28 games. 

Today Cavani is the club’s third most prolific striker after Maradona and Attila Sallustro and those 104 goals also included nine hat-tricks along with 15 potent penalties. However, above all there is one strike he treasures most. “Fortunately, I’ve scored so many beautiful goals in my career but I think the one in the Cup Final against Juventus was my best,” he revealed. “As it helped the club win a trophy after a long period without success.”

Certainly Cavani brought success to the club and joy to the terraces while also adding a touch of glamour, something not seen since the days of Diego.

And although, should he leave, no-one can ever replace Il Pibe for the pure unadulterated joy he has brought to the San Paolo, the Uruguayan got pretty close with his screams of delight and the shaking of his shirt after another superb strike.

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
Stronz-inator you are clearly on drugs as I have been blogging against you on both articles, so when the pills wear off again, read the bloggs and you'll see you could never keep me quiet! Fellow bloggers Im beggining to get worried..We maybe accused of driving a detained lunatic to his death! Oooh what insults I'm so hurt. Go on I think its time for your next medication. " Strunzzzzz!"
on the 10th July, 2013 at 6:44pm
puppyberts, you mention the Conf cup and CL and say you would hope to hear the last of the spanish armada. What do you think most people will interpret from that you pansy. your italian background clearly does cloud your mind because if you are going to slate barca for being owned by bayern, then you could say the same thing about both milan and juve being owned by barca and bayern. And i like how you went quiet about messi when i mentioned the spanish WC and euro wins. good boy
on the 10th July, 2013 at 12:26pm
Who cares if he leaves. Before he went to Napoli he was a question mark. A good player, but no one knew he would grow into a great one at Napoli. Italian clubs will find and nurture another one, and continue to make profit that way. Big clubs can buy the finished product at a premium, and the cycle can repeat. Arrivederci Cavani is right...onto the next one.
on the 9th July, 2013 at 11:03pm
@stronzinator are so on another Planet! Who said that Spanish football is on a decline. I love my football and don't let my Italian background rule my judgement. Of course Spain clubs and country are still great. I was referring to you still having face after a thrashing from the German in the CL ( I recall Messi being absent). You are so infactuad in slating Italy on these blogs that you make ridiculous comments like Spain dominated Italy in that game. " alor' si schemm'!"
on the 9th July, 2013 at 2:13pm
anonymous and italia 91, i was watching the game where spain were passing italy off the park and italy were completely knackered and could no longer chase the spanish players. I would describe that as spain walking over italy. i love how u say "italy should have". should have could have would have. u both need to get over the ifs and buts and accept spain dominated italy jusrt like i dominated u 2
on the 9th July, 2013 at 12:42pm
Italy dominated spain. not sure what game you were watching?!?!?
Spain were lucky to get away with pks
on the 8th July, 2013 at 10:20pm
@Dominator: Spain walked all over italy in the confed cup? you must have been watching a different game because the game should have ended in regular time with Italy ahead at least 2-0. you're completely delusional.
on the 8th July, 2013 at 6:45pm
papaberts, i hadnt realised how deluded and dumb some people can be until these blogs came along. Surely even you are not so daft as to say spanish football is now in decline. You credit spanish dominance to messii, i didnt realise he played for spain in their euro and world cup wins.

as for the conf cup, did you not see spain walk all over italy again and get to another final?

You just got dominated!
on the 8th July, 2013 at 12:23pm
As a Napoli fan I'm going to keep it nice and sweet " Ciao e grazie Edi!"
on the 7th July, 2013 at 6:49pm
@Adam...I totally disagree about Cavani being the best player out there for can't really conclude without seeing our new buys' performances.Timing is very crucial in football nowadays.I believe that while players like Cavani and Di Natale are consistent,I would like to point out that its as a result of the dwindling quality of defenders.for example Di Natale only became prolific when great defenders such as thuram,cannavaro,maldini,etc left,retired or got old.Cavani on the other hand hardly met any of these defenders so I don't see him as being sone "big deal".
on the 6th July, 2013 at 8:39pm
Lets make one thing clear, Cavani never asked to leave Napoli but it's rather Napoli that wanted to sell him. And although i would have loved to see Cavani remain in Serie A, his departure is best for all parties involved. Cavani will get paid and Napoli will get 60+ millions to strengthen the team and become more competitive, kinda like when Inter sold Ibra. All in all i wish the best of luck for Cavani and i hope that Napoli uses their new riches wisely, for the sake of Serie A.
on the 6th July, 2013 at 6:39pm
He is a great player & his departure will be a blow for Napoli & Serie A. That said, some of the leagues signings (completed & potential) will soften the blow. I'm already looking forward to seeing the likes of Tevez, Llorente, Mertens, Saponara etc. If the likes of Gomez, Nani, Dzeko arrive that will be great. Most importantly, I want more of our youngsters to emerge and be given a fair chance.
on the 6th July, 2013 at 11:51am
And as it turns out his childhood dreams were about PSG ...

But you have to understand, finances are tough nowadays. What can one do with a few meager millions when a latte cots $6.00 at Starbucks?
Absolutely nothing!
You need more, lots lots more!
on the 6th July, 2013 at 4:49am
Anonymous, the Pato example does little to prove the shaky point you are trying to make about the "foreigners" vs "loyalists" as these two groups are not mutually exclusive - far from it - but I respect and share to some extent your wish to see more home-grown folks on the stage.

Fact is the scouts are looking for talent and not pride in flags. That's why Pato was brought in and Darmian let go.
on the 6th July, 2013 at 4:33am
Will be sad to see cavani leave serie a but napoli would be foolish to pass up those kind of funds the potential to sign multiple talents to build a truly great squad and potentially a great club of international recognition is hard to pass up they may have to sell a cavani today to finance the cavani of tomorrow. At least there not taking the udinese approach and selling. All the great talent at once, u can see that adl is at least building and not just cashing in
on the 6th July, 2013 at 1:18am
Too many haters. Why can't people just applaud a talent and give him the credit he deserves. Football is big business and the careers are short. If someone wants to pay millions for a player, then that is their perogative. We all want the Italian National team to do well and the fact remains that they generally do (we are the most successful european team ever) The only way Serie A will retain the best talent is if its teams start competing in the Champions League again.
on the 5th July, 2013 at 5:17pm
@if-i what are you talking about? The last person to win back to back titles at Real Madrid was Bernd Schuster; United and Barca won the treble without the help of any Italians so I have no idea what point you are trying to make and please do not mention Capello as England manager if you want to argue the merits of Italians as national managers. Italy is no more a glam league so get over it. What I find more worrying is that Lafferty was bought by an Italian club. U21 players need to play more.
on the 5th July, 2013 at 5:06pm
@Dominator you are talking out of you back the Spanish Liga have been strong for what 4-5 have to thank an Argentinian for that. The German clubs showed that 2 of the strongest Spanish teams can be beaten. I would have thought that after the champ league and the conf cup we would see the last of Spanish Armada on the Blogs. As a Napoli fan I have to agree that the City does not protect their players and it is shameful to see players being robbed. I say that as a Neapolitan.
on the 5th July, 2013 at 5:00pm
Players come and go.I still watch serie A even though my favourite player of all-time Alex Del Piero isn't with my beloved Juve anymore.Many of us have forgotten the legends and unsung heroes that used to grace the Italian pitches.Cavani is just another player,nothing special about him that'll make me miss him..Hopefully Napoli will put the money from his sale into good use
on the 5th July, 2013 at 4:15pm
This is why I am tired of following league soccer. It's always the same teams on top... why??? Becuase as soon as a smaller team have a star player, they sell them to the highest bidder. I don't understand. Don't they want to win???? It gets real old.
I'm an american so I don't quite understand this. In american sports a player is with a team until they either trade him for another player or if the players contract expires, therefore allowing the player to sign with whatever team he wants.
on the 5th July, 2013 at 4:11pm
Losing Cavani is certainly a pity, but if you can buy Jovetic and Lewandowski with the money you receive for him.....

Immagine Napoli with a 3-3-3-1 formation and



upfront. Already in October, Cavani would no longer be remembered by the Napoli tifosi.
on the 5th July, 2013 at 3:32pm
@zaza your post is a example of how classy you and youre juve fans are...
on the 5th July, 2013 at 3:04pm
For me he would have been perfect for Juventus!! Juve should have just sucked it up and activated his buy out clause in my opinion he would have made them complete! Don't get me wrong Tevez and Llorente are great but Cavani is the best.
on the 5th July, 2013 at 3:01pm
Dave Taylor, apparently you don't read much because almost EVERY big name player that has left Italian soil for another league has openly declared how much they miss the peninsula. Examples? Ibra, T. Silva, Kaka, Lavezzi, etc. Even Julio Cesar, Marco Verratti, Davide Santon, all have been intertwined in returning to Italy. Balotelli came back also.

Cavani will be another, because players like him do not get the same kind of accolades and passionate following in England, & certainly not France.
on the 5th July, 2013 at 2:07pm
The people of Napoli must start respecting their soccer players by making em feel safe in the city they work. Lavezzi's fiancee had her engagement ring stolen, Cavani was robbed last year, so was would you feel to be an icon in a city and get robbed for it when you can go to a beautiful city like Madrid or Paris and not feel like you're in a 2nd world country. I say leave Napoli and if i was ADL i would tell the people to leave his players alone if they want them to stay at Napoli
on the 5th July, 2013 at 1:49pm
Serie A is now a selling league. Players come there, use the league, get noticed, and then move to a more competitive league.

Cavani is stupid though if the latest rumours are true. If you leave you leave for a Spanish or English team. But PSG? That is a good way to disappear from the football world. Would be better off staying in Italy. Serie A is poor but not as poor as the French league
on the 5th July, 2013 at 12:39pm
2/2 solution is to rid ourselves of pretty much all of the foreign players that are in serie A keep those loyal and play because they love the club they are at. Kaka and tiago silva were sold for the greed of a club but their passion for milan lives on average talent needs to go. Fill our league clubs up with italian youth train them and teach them like we have done to so many foreign players and see in afew years wel be sat discussing what genuine talent to use for the azzurri!!!
on the 5th July, 2013 at 9:15am
1/2..Fact or the matter is every player starts somewhere. Seria a is full of young foreign players my point has always been that I see no point in going africa or brazil to get 16 year old and teach them the technical game when we can do that for our lads in the youth system. My biggest example is pato we brought this 'phenomenon' over from brazil at 18 years old- all he did was cost us medical expenses and then complain hes home sick, robiniho, ronaldinho the list goes on...
on the 5th July, 2013 at 9:08am
I agree with you Anonymous, let him go if he wants to.
If you don't like your job or your boss you are not giving all you've got. That would put him in the 99% bracket where the rest of us hang out :)

The problem is I just don't see anyone in the youth sector being close to filling his shoes in the near future.

Let's hope :)
on the 4th July, 2013 at 11:58pm
Ibra will never join a trashy and classless team from Naples. With or without Cavani Juventus will finaly put 3 stars on their shirts!!!
on the 4th July, 2013 at 11:55pm

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