The Lazio forward bagged a hat-trick against Verona to draw level with Robert Lewandowski and leave Ronaldo three goals adrift in the top-scorer stakes.

Lazio striker Ciro Immobile has positioned himself as the favourite for the 2020 European Golden Shoe after a hat-trick against Verona took the Italy international three goals ahead of Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo and level with Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski with two games of the Serie A season remaining.

Immobile’s strike rate this season has already earned him a record as the first Italian to score more than 31 in Serie A history (Gino Rossetti bagged 36 for Torino in 1928-29, the final season of the Divisione Nazionale before the creation of Series A and B).

The 30-year-old now has the chance to add a third Capocannoniere award to his laurels after top-scoring for Torino in 2013-14 and sharing the prize with Mauro Icardi in 2017-18 in Lazio colours.

Immobile in pole position for Golden Shoe

The Italy forward can also add the European Golden Shoe with one more strike probably enough to seal the continental prize.

Ronaldo needs three to match Immobile’s current tally while Lewandowski will have to wait and see if his 34 Bundesliga goals are enough to share the award this season.

Immobile also has the Serie A record of 36, set by Gonzalo Higuaín in 2015-16, firmly in his sights. Lazio’s next match is against already-relegated Brescia, who have the second-worst defensive record in the division, before Simone Inzaghi’s side visit Napoli on the final day.

Ronaldo and Juventus travel to Cagliari for their penultimate game and host Roma in the last round of fixtures, when Portuguese can be expected to try his luck every chance he gets with the Serie A title in already in the bag.

Missing out on the Golden Shoe would represent another blow for Lewandowski, who was among the favourites for the cancelled 2020 Ballon d’Or.

Should Immobile get over the line it will be the first time since 2006-07 that an Italian has claimed the Golden Shoe.

That season, Francesco Totti took home the award after netting 26 for Roma. Ronaldo would win the following year while at Manchester United and since then only Diego Forlán (2008-09) and Luis Suárez (2015-16) have prevented either Ronaldo or Leo Messi from being named Europe’s outright top scorer


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here