Immobile v Ronaldo: the Serie A Golden Boot Battle for the Ages

Ronaldo v Immobile

With the Serie A season nearing its conclusion with four games remaining, the title looks like it will stay in Juventus' hands for a ninth consecutive year. However, the race for the golden boot is set to go right down to the wire once more.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Ciro Immobile are leading the charge with 30 goals each in the league so far and come to the finale in early August, we might have a one of the most tense battles for a Golden Boot we have seen in some time.

Prior to the suspension in Serie A, Immobile was running away with it on 27 goals, compared to Ronaldo's 21. However, the Portuguese has netted nine times in eight games since the restart, whilst Immobile has netted just the three.

This is the first time since 1950-51 where two players in Serie A have bagged at least 30 goals, a time when Gunnar Nordahl (Milan) and Istvan Nyers (Inter) registered such figures.

Now, let's take a look at this unprecedented race.

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Ronaldo (8/13)

The one who needs no introduction of course. It is safe to say that the superstar has found his feet at Juventus. The 21 league goals he scored on his debut seasons for the Turin side last year was his lowest league goal tally since the 2008/09 season, his final season at Manchester United.

Now at the age of 35, the Portuguese international has shown no signs of stopping. Not only is he still playing at world-renowned European giants, but the ex-Real Madrid man is playing like he is a long way off losing that magical touch that most players encounter when they reach their early 30s.

In comparison to what fellow icons and legends of the game were doing at the age of 35, Zinedine Zidane retired soon after turning 34, Pele was at New York Cosmos, and Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo were all winding down in their homelands.

Now at Juventus, he has averaged a goal every 88 minutes and has become the fastest player in Serie A history to reach 50 goals, thanks to that double against Lazio. With 30 goals alongside Immobile, Ronaldo will also become the first player to win the top scorer award in Italy, Spain and England, should he pip the Italian to the line.

What an unbelievable story from a heaven-sent player.

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Immobile (6/5)

Over the course of the season, Immobile has often lead the charge and has consistent goalscoring has put him in contention to win his third Capocannoniere after winning the personal title in 2013/14 with Torino and won it alongside Mauro Icardi in 2017/18.

The goals he has scored have contributed to an excellent season for Lazio. The White and Sky Blues currently sit in a comfortable fourth place in Serie A and are just two points off guaranteeing a place in next season's Champions League group stage. It will be a fantastic achievement considering they have not reached the group stages of Europe's elite competition since the 2007/08 season.

The striker might feel disappointed that competition for the prize with Ronaldo has become this tight considering he was six goals ahead at one point earlier in the season. The man from Juventus has successfully managed to chase him down to take the competition to a dramatic finish.

One thing that is cause for concern for Immobile is that following his hat-trick against Sampdoria in January, he appears to have lost his prolific touch in front of goal having only scored seven goals in 13 league games since.

Losing his prolific striking touch towards the end of the season is surprisingly a common occurrence for the striker. In each of the three previous seasons, he has only scored a total of two goals in the final five matches of a season, including the 2017/18 season when he shared the Golden Boot prize.

Considering Ronaldo's slightly better average of goals per game and the fact that Immobile has a tendency to go missing right at the end of a campaign, will make Ronaldo the firm favourite to win Serie A's top scorer award this season.

By Rob Spereall


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