Forwards are often on the receiving end of most of the attention and praise throughout the course of a season; after all, it is their end product after a build-up and impact on the scoresheet that decides matches.
There was a large selection pool to choose from, and in several forward roles, but here are the five top attackers from this past campaign.
1. Fabio Quagliarella (Sampdoria) Leading the front line for Marco Giampaolo’s side, Fabio Quagliarella’s professionalism and overall influence were already deemed priceless as the owner of the captain’s armband. But, when he was winding back the clock with sensational goals we all knew he had in his locker and scoring every 124 minutes, the ex-Napoli hitman became a must-see attraction each weekend for the Genoa-based outfit. After bagging 26 goals en route to the ‘capocannoniere’ to go along with 8 assists, what more can be said about the Samp striker? Quagliarella has aged like a fine wine, and as cliche as that may sound, the 36-year old’s exploits are befitting of this phrase.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) The 34-year old Portuguese superstar’s arrival at Juventus sent shockwaves around the world, requiring a double-take amongst supporters last summer as a player of Ronaldo’s stature does not come around often. The Agnelli family backed up the truck for Ronaldo in hopes he could deliver a UEFA Champions League title to the Turin giants, but it wasn’t in the cards as the club bowed out to Ajax in the quarter-finals. Yet, Ronaldo was every bit the serial winner they acquired, carrying Juventus past Atletico Madrid with a hat-trick and burying 21 goals to go along with 8 assists as ‘the Old Lady’ cruised to their eighth-straight Scudetto. Make no mistake about it, CR7 will come back even hungrier next year to have another go at European glory.
3. Josip Iličić (Atalanta) The 31-year old Slovenian has always possessed world-class playmaking ability, but issues with both consistency and comfort in the right setting during previous stints at Palermo and Fiorentina hindered him from elevating his game to new heights. Since joining Atalanta however, Ilicic has put it all together under Gian Piero Gasperini, becoming the all-action attacking presence Atalanta demanded in order to take this project to the next level in 18-19. His 12 goals, 7 assists and 2.52 dribbles per game average were paramount to ‘La Dea‘s’ magical season in which they led Serie A in scoring and booked their first UCL berth in club history by finishing third.
4. Krzysztof Piątek (Milan) An absolute bargain at €4m, Piątek immediately became the talk of Italy when he came roaring out of the starting gates by bagging 19 goals in 21 total appearances for Genoa. As a result of his red-hot start, the 23-year old Pole earned a massive €35m move in January to Milan where he solidified himself as this year‘s biggest breakout star in Europe, scoring an additional 9 goals. With this sum, the Dzierżoniów born bomber became the eighth player in Europe’s top five league’s with at least 30 goals over the course of the 2018/19 season (in all competitions), and the first one to do this in Serie A. Guns were certainly blazing for ‘Il Pistolero’ in his rookie campaign on Italian soil.
5. Duván Zapata (Atalanta) Between all of the credit Gasperini, Gomez and Ilicic received, some may have forgotten about the striker from Cali, Colombia who lead the attacking assault for the Goddess all season long, Duván Zapata. The 28-year old imposing striker presented a real problem for opposing defences all season long, blending physicality, technique and a clinical finishing touch that led to a career year with 23 goals and 7 assists. Given the market for productive number nine’s with Zapata’s profile, President Antonio Percassi must do all he can to keep the gang together for Gasperini who will surely lean on the ex-Napoli man to deliver once again.
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