Three Lazio players, including Ciro Immobile, will miss Sunday's Serie A match with Juventus amid concerns around coronavirus tests.

Immobile, Lucas Leiva and Thomas Strakosha all reportedly returned inconclusive COVID-19 tests on Saturday and left the Lazio training ground as a precaution.

None of the players have been included in the matchday squad for the meeting with the champions in Rome.

Lazio's chief medic, Ivo Pulcini, told Radio Sei there had been some "positive results" in the latest round of testing.

Immobile, last season's top goalscorer in Serie A with 36 goals, has already scored three times in five appearances in 2020-21.

A win for Juve will move them to within a point of league leaders Milan, while Lazio will move into the top three if they take all three points.

Robert Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in the world and any team would struggle against a player of his quality, says Italy boss Roberto Mancini.

The Azzurri will go head-to-head against Lewandowski on Sunday when the two nations meet in Nations League Group A1.

Lewandowski scored 55 goals across all competitions in 2019-20 to fire Bayern Munich to a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble and many pundits feel he would have won the Ballon d'Or this year had the award not been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He has continued his exquisite form in the early stages of this campaign, scoring five goals in three league matches for champions Bayern.

Mancini talked up the talents of Lewandowski in a pre-match news conference but backed his side to keep him quiet in Gdansk.

"Lewandowski is one of the best centre-forwards in the world and he has been for several years. It's a pity we never got to see him playing in Serie A," Mancini said

"He's fundamental for Poland, although they also have other great players too. It's fair to say any team would struggle against the likes of Lewandowski.

"But Italy have always had some of the best defenders in the world and that remains true today. Of course, we can improve a great deal too."

Ciro Immobile was also one of European football's hottest properties last term and finished as Serie A's top goalscorer with 36 goals in 37 top-flight matches.

The Lazio striker has struggled to match that domestic form on the international scene and has scored just three times in the Mancini era, two of those in a 9-1 battering of minnows Armenia.

Mancini explained it is harder to get into a rhythm in international football when defending Immobile's record.

"It might also be because the two teams play in very different ways," Mancini added. 

"Ciro has always done well when playing with us. If we had 38 games in a row together, he'd score 25 goals, but it's tougher when you only get together every now and then."

Ciro Immobile and Stefano Sensi both saw red as Inter were held to a 1-1 draw by Lazio in an ill-tempered Serie A clash at Stadio Olimpico.

Lautaro Martinez kept up his fine start to the season to open the scoring in the 30th minute of Sunday's clash, lashing in a shot which Thomas Strakosha failed to keep out.

But with Romelu Lukaku wasting a chance to double Inter's lead, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's brilliant header restored parity.

Lazio's hopes of a comeback were dented in the 69th minute as Immobile, who managed just one shot from 26 touches in a frustrating individual display, saw red for slapping Arturo Vidal.

Inter almost snatched the points in the closing stages when Marcelo Brozovic struck the woodwork, before Nerazzurri substitute Sensi received his marching orders for hitting Patric.

Having lost Stefan Radu to injury, Lazio had the first meaningful attempt in the 19th minute, with Samir Handanovic palming Luis Alberto's strike over.

Handanovic's goalkeeping counterpart Strakosha failed to cover himself in glory as Inter hit the front 11 minutes later – the Lazio man only able to parry Martinez's low effort into the net.

Ivan Perisic bundled the ball into Martinez for that goal, and the winger would have had his second assist had Achraf Hakimi put a header on target.

Lukaku was inches away from adding a second after the restart, with Martinez then firing just wide of the upright.

Yet Lazio soon hit back, as Milinkovic-Savic sent a towering header in at the back post after connecting with Francesco Acerbi's excellent cross.

Lazio looked good for a second but their efforts were derailed when Immobile reacted badly to a challenge by Vidal, who made the most of it. The referee sent Lazio's talisman straight off.

Brozovic saw a deflected effort clip off the post as Inter pressed to make their numerical advantage count, only for Sensi to receive a red card for violent conduct as both sides settled for a point.

 

What does it mean? Defence a cause for concern for Conte

Inter have scored 10 goals in their opening three league games this season – the most they have scored at this stage of a Serie A campaign is 13 goals, in 1960/61. However, they give up far too many chances at the other end, and Antonio Conte must find a way to shore things up if they are to truly challenge on all fronts this term.

Martinez keeps up his form

Three games, three goals in Italy's top flight for Martinez this season. The Argentine forward had three shots in total, with his goal the only one on target. He managed 32 touches and created one chance, with Inter's best attacking play coming through him.

Immobile's red caps disappointing day

Immobile was the leading scorer in Serie A last term, but the 30-year-old cost his side a great opportunity to push on and get three points with his rash reaction to Vidal's tackle. Of sides that he has faced at least three times with Lazio in Serie A, Inter are the only one against which Immobile has not found the net, excluding penalties.

What's next?

It is the small matter of the Milan derby coming up on October 17 for Inter, while Lazio face Sampdoria on the same day.

Lazio striker Ciro Immobile is grateful to have played under Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, describing the German coach as "someone you do not forget".

Immobile was brought to Dortmund by Klopp in 2014 as a replacement for Robert Lewandowski but scored just 10 goals in 34 games before heading to Sevilla the following year.

He again struggled in front of goal at Sevilla but has since revived his career at the Stadio Olimpico, scoring a combined 103 goals in the last four Serie A campaigns.

However, the Italy international is disappointed things did not work out for him across his one season playing under now-Liverpool boss Klopp at Dortmund.

"Klopp leaves something behind for you. You don't forget someone like him," he told Sport Bild. 

"I was lucky to be able to play under him. He's a super emotional trainer. Someone for whom you fight for every ball.

"He demands that of you too, and you can see that in his behaviour on the sidelines."

Asked why he struggled to make an impact with BVB in 2014-15, Immobile said: "I think that I just moved to Dortmund at an inconvenient time as far as the team was concerned. 

"With Klopp, BVB became champions in 2011 and 2012 and then came second twice. After the first half of my season there, we were second from last in the Bundesliga.

"That meant young, foreign players being left out. I don't think Klopp didn't see any quality in me, but in this difficult phase he put more trust in players he already knew and could rely on."

Immobile won the European Golden Shoe last season after scoring 36 Serie A goals for Lazio, two more than Bayern Munich star Lewandowski in the German top flight.

The 30-year-old is honoured to have finished ahead of such esteemed company and labelled closest challenger Lewandowski as the best player in the world.

"If I could vote at the Ballon d'Or, I would give him my vote," he said.

"What makes me particularly proud is that I won the Golden Shoe with two more goals than him. For me he was always a role model.

"When it comes to the best number nine in the world, the names Lewandowski, [Luis] Suarez or [Karim] Benzema always come up. 

"To be mentioned in the same breath as them and to have scored more than these strikers is incredible for me."

Roberto Mancini promised changes in personnel for Italy's clash with the Netherlands after watching his side slump to a 1-1 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Nations League.

Mancini's men had won their previous 11 consecutive games – an Azzurri record – but fell behind at Stadio Artemio Franchi when Roma striker Edin Dzeko gave the visitors a second-half lead.

Inter midfielder Stefano Sensi equalised with a deflected strike to earn Italy a share of the points in a game that saw them struggle to break down a packed Bosnia-Herzegovina defence.

Torino's Andrea Belotti started in attack ahead of Lazio's talismanic forward Ciro Immobile and Mancini may consider that position for one of his planned changes.

"The draw doesn't change our plans," Mancini told Rai Sport.

"Our game plan won't change against the Netherlands, but we'll change personnel.

"[Giorgio] Chiellini didn't play because we feared risking injury.

"It's a shame not to have won. Tiredness played a role but the boys played well."

Sensi, whose only previous goal for his country came in a 6-0 drubbing of Liechtenstein in March 2019, admitted the result fell short of Italy's expectations.

The Azzurri won just one of their four Nations League games in 2018 and will need to improve against the Netherlands on Monday if they are to pick up their first victory of this year's competition.

"I'm happy to score, but there's a lot of regret about the result," said Sensi.

"Coming back together after 10 months wasn't easy.

"It was hard to find the spaces. We should've been a lot quicker on the ball."

Stefano Sensi's second international goal rescued Italy a Nations League draw as their 11-game winning streak came to an end in a 1-1 stalemate with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Azzurri arrived in Florence looking to extend their record-breaking run of consecutive victories to 12 but found themselves up against a resolute defence and undone by the visitors' veteran Serie A striker Edin Dzeko, who scored from close range after 57 minutes.

Italy boss Roberto Mancini opted to leave last season's European Golden Boot winner Ciro Immobile out of his starting line-up and watched as his forwards squandered the few chances that came their way.

But Sensi applied a cool finish to Lorenzo Insigne's cross after the talented attacker teed him up in the 67th minute to avoid a shock defeat.

Federico Chiesa hit the side-netting from six yards as Italy probed for an opener and Insigne whipped a 20-yard free-kick just over the crossbar after 17 minutes.

Bosnia-Herzegovina wingers Armin Hodzic and Edin Visca made their presence felt, linking up in a fast break before the latter lashed a fierce shot high and wide from 12 yards shortly before the half-hour mark.

The Azzurri survived a scare when Hodzic rounded Gianluigi Donnarumma seven minutes into the second half before hitting the outside of the post from an extremely tight angle.

After Insigne had a close-range header saved by Ibrahim Sehic, Dzeko broke the deadlock with a simple left-footed finish into the bottom right corner of the net after Toni Sunjic's knockdown found him six yards out.

Ten minutes later, Insigne's cross found Sensi unmarked just inside the penalty area and he side-footed a low shot that took a deflection on its way past Sehic into the bottom corner of the net.

Florenzi should have won it when he burst into the box with 19 minutes left but his low drive from 12 yards was well saved by the diving Sehic.

Ciro Immobile has signed a new five-year contract with Lazio.

The Italy international won the European Golden Shoe in 2019-20 after scoring 36 goals in 37 games in Serie A.

The form of the 30-year-old helped Lazio to finish fourth in the table, just five points behind champions Juventus, and secure a return to the Champions League.

Lazio confirmed on Monday via Twitter that Immobile has extended his contract to 2025, meaning he will likely finish his top-level career in Rome.

The former Sevilla forward, who had been tentatively linked with clubs including Liverpool and Barcelona, will reportedly earn in the region of €3million per season.

Immobile has scored 103 goals in 142 league games for Lazio since joining in 2016.

Manchester United fans have been waiting for a new face to arrive and their patience is set to be rewarded.

Despite reported interest from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Tottenham, Ajax's Donny van de Beek is poised for Old Trafford.

Will there be more arrivals at United?

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD TO SIGN VAN DE BEEK

Manchester United have agreed a fee to sign Ajax star Donny van de Beek, according to The Guardian and widespread reports.

Van de Beek has been linked to United, Barcelona and Real Madrid, while Tottenham were also reportedly interested.

But United are set to complete their first serious transfer ahead of the 2020-21 season in a deal reportedly worth £35.7m (€40m) plus add-ons.

 

ROUND-UP

Chelsea are close to signing Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, reports Sport Bild. Fabrizio Romano, meanwhile, says it is only a matter of time before the Germany international completes a €100m (£89m) switch.

Sandro Tonali will join Milan, claims Romano. The Brescia sensation had been tipped to move to Inter, however, Milan are set to sign Tonali on an initial loan deal.

- Calciomercato reports Juventus want to sell Douglas Costa amid links to United. New head coach Andrea Pirlo wants to overhaul his squad.

- La Gazzetta dello Sport says Barca are considering Lazio striker Ciro Immobile as a replacement for Luis Suarez, who has been linked to Juve. Immobile finished as Serie A's top goalscorer last season.

- According to Super Deporte, Valencia are considering a move for Arsenal outcast Matteo Guendouzi.

Barca are working on reuniting Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum with former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman, says Mundo Deportivo. Koeman will lead Barca after leaving his international post to replace Quique Setien.

- The Mirror claims Liverpool are ready to make an offer for Watford's Ismaila Sarr, who is valued at £40m.

- Antonio Conte has requested Inter sign N'Golo Kante from Chelsea, says Tuttomercatoweb. Inter are reportedly hoping to land the Frenchman initially on loan with the option to buy. It comes as Inter look to raise funds through the sales of players like Roberto Gagliardini, Matias Vecino and Marcelo Brozovic.

- Journalist Fredrik A.N. Filtvedt claims United are interested in Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara. Liverpool have been tipped to sign the Spaniard.

Lionel Messi reportedly wants to negotiate his exit from Barcelona, who have other plans.

Messi, 33, has sensationally requested to leave Barca, the club where he has spent his entire professional career.

Talk around the record six-time Ballon d'Or winner continues.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI WANTS TO NEGOTIATE BARCELONA EXIT

Messi wants to negotiate his exit from Barcelona, according to widespread reports in Spain.

Mundo Deportivo claims Barca insist Messi is not for sale, while adding the Argentina international wants a meeting with president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have been most strongly linked with moves for Messi.

L'Equipe reports PSG sporting director Leonardo called Messi's father, Jorge, but added City appear to be frontrunners.

It also says Juventus tried a discreet approach for Messi.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Barcelona and the Catalan giants are looking to strengthen. Sport reports they are interested in Lazio star Ciro Immobile, who equalled Gonzalo Higuain's Serie A record with 36 goals in a single season in 2019-20.

- At Real Madrid, James Rodriguez is widely expected to make an exit. The Sun reports Everton have agreed personal terms with James on a £4million-per-year deal.

- Inter could be close to an addition ahead of their 2020-21 season. Fabrizio Romano says the Nerazzurri are close to sealing a deal for Roma left-back Aleksandar Kolarov for around €2m.

- After Ben Chilwell joined Chelsea, Leicester City may have found their replacement at left-back. The Sun reports they have lined up a move for Monaco defender Fode Ballo-Toure.

- Emiliano Martinez took his chance when given his opportunity as Arsenal's number one, but it could give the Premier League side a chance to cash in. The Athletic states Arsenal are prepared to sell the goalkeeper during this transfer window.

Ciro Immobile finds it "crazy" that he fended off Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to finish the season with the Golden Shoe.

The award goes to the highest goalscorer in Europe's top domestic leagues, and Immobile's 36 goals from 37 games in Serie A saw off all-comers.

Immobile, 30, produced the form of his life with Lazio as the Rome side finished fourth in Serie A, five points behind champions Juventus.

The Italy international, who edged out Bayern Munich's 34-goal Robert Lewandowski, said: "It's crazy, me in front of Ronaldo and Lewandowski. If I reread the roll of honour, I almost don't believe it: Messi, Messi, (Luis) Suarez, Ronaldo, Ronaldo, Messi, Messi, Ronaldo, Messi.

"I interrupted the Leo-Cristiano duet. For this I thanked the team, it was the least I could do."

Fourteen of Immobile's goals were penalties, while Ronaldo netted 12 spot-kicks among his 31 goals for Juventus, and Messi scored five times from the 12-yard mark in his 25-goal campaign.

Lewandowski scored just five penalties among his Bayern haul, and many feel he has shown himself to be Europe's leading striker rather than Immobile.

Immobile, whose goals haul matched the Serie A single-season record set by Gonzalo Higuain in 2015-16, knows full well how important his clinical penalty-taking proved in his season's success.

He let others take their chance from the spot at times, however, with Luis Alberto netting a penalty against Udinese in December and Felipe Caicedo missing against Fiorentina back in October, both while Immobile was on the field.

Immobile has no regrets over that, telling Corriere dello Sport: "None. I did what had to be done.

"If I hadn't behaved like this I wouldn't have reached the record figure. The locker room, its equilibrium is the most important thing. They are very thin threads and they must never be broken."

Ciro Immobile is ready to welcome David Silva to Lazio with open arms and revealed an approach from Newcastle United, who he claimed wanted to hire Massimiliano Allegri or Luciano Spalletti. 

Manchester City great Silva is to depart the Premier League club after a 10-year association upon the completion of their Champions League campaign, which continues with a quarter-final tie against Lyon on Saturday. 

Reports in Italy suggest the Spanish playmaker's move to Rome is practically done, with Lazio offering him a three-year contract to move to Serie A. 

Lazio striker Immobile is excited at the prospect of linking up with the 2010 World Cup winner.  

"He's a great player and has great experience, we are waiting for him with open arms," Immobile said in an extensive interview with Corriere dello Sport. 

"I can't wait for him to arrive, we are Lazio fans before Lazio players." 

Immobile is coming off a sublime individual campaign in which his 36 Serie A goals matched the competition record set by Gonzalo Higuain, who achieved the feat in the 2015-16 campaign. 

The Italy striker says he is now ready to finish his career at Lazio amid the possibility of a contract extension at the club. 

"I'm waiting for them to call me. I intend to tie myself to Lazio forever. What Lazio has given me and is giving me is priceless," Immobile added. 

"The renewal will be three years, so the contract will expire in 2025, when I turn 35." 

While Immobile has no plans to depart, he revealed there was interest in taking him to Newcastle amid a potential takeover at the Premier League club. 

The Magpies were the subject of a proposed £300million purchase, led by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, but the bid was withdrawn due to what was described by the potential new owners as “an unforeseen prolonged process”. 

Immobile also stated Newcastle wanted to bring in an Italian coach, with ex-Juve boss Allegri among consideration. 

"During the period in which there was talk of the possible acquisition of Newcastle by a sheikh fund, they called my agent Alessandro Moggi," Immobile said.  

"Then the Premier did not pass the proposal, the fund was withdrawn. I know they were also looking for an Italian coach, Allegri or Spalletti."

Paulo Dybala has been named Serie A MVP for the 2019-20 season after playing a starring role in Juventus' successful title defence - but Cristiano Ronaldo missed out in the list of individual honours. 

Dybala scored 11 goals and provided six assists in the league as the Bianconeri were crowned champions in Italy for a ninth successive year. 

The Argentina international came out on top of the rankings, according to Stats Perform statistical surveys aided by tracking data. Information was collected from Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana games, as well as Serie A. 

Ronaldo scored 31 goals for Juve but the Portuguese was pipped to the best forward award by Ciro Immobile, who equalled Gonzalo Higuain's competition record for goals in a single season with 36 for Lazio. 

There was further success for the champions, however, as Wojciech Szczesny was named best goalkeeper, with Inter's Stefan de Vrij the top defender. 

Alejandro Gomez was rewarded for helping Atalanta finish third for a second successive season, the Argentine playmaker announced as the leading midfielder.  

Dejan Kulusevski, meanwhile, was named young player of the season after impressing on loan at Parma. 

The 20-year-old Swede was signed by Juventus from Atalanta in the January window, though remained at the Ennio Tardini for the remainder of the campaign.

"It was a difficult year, but these players have proven their talents in all the matches they played with great performances," Luigi De Siervo, CEO of Serie A, said in a statement announcing the winners.

"We want to thank all the athletes for their professionalism, commitment and sacrifice."

There was a predictable champion at the end of the 2019-20 Serie A campaign as Juventus clinched a ninth successive Scudetto, and their success is reflected in Opta's Team of the Season. 

Although Juve finished 2019-20 just a point ahead of second-placed Inter, they had wrapped up the title with two games to go – beating Sampdoria 2-0 on July 26.

Cristiano Ronaldo was unsurprisingly key, finishing as his team's top scorer, but for much of the season there were a few sides that looked like they might push Juve all the way.

Inter, Atalanta and Lazio all had their moments where they were able to dream and they each had individuals who impressed.

Following the conclusion on the campaign on Sunday, we teamed up with Opta to outline the Serie A Team of the Season.

OPTA'S SERIE A TEAM OF THE SEASON

GK: Wojciech Szczesny, Juventus

Poland international Szczesny has come a long way since struggling in the latter part of his Arsenal career. He was once again a dependable option between the posts, remaining first choice despite the return of Gianluigi Buffon. He ended the season with a 74.4 per cent save success rate, the best of the Serie A goalkeepers to have played 20 or more times.

RB: Juan Cuadrado, Juventus

Hardly the most convincing of defenders, granted, but Cuadrado boasts the versatility to play in a few roles down the right flank and he became an important figure for Maurizio Sarri – his 28 Serie A starts is just one fewer than he managed in the previous two seasons combined. The Colombian was certainly influential, too, as he was involved in more open-play sequences that ended with a shot made by someone else (132) than any other player this term. He also chipped in with two goals and five assists.

CB: Stefan de Vrij, Inter

No team conceded fewer goals in Serie A this season than an Inter side that Antonio Conte ensured was well-drilled. Netherlands centre-back De Vrij played a major role in that as he featured 34 times – though his efforts were not notable just for his defensive effectiveness. The former Feyenoord man scored three goals and also set up another three, making him the most productive centre-back in the league in this regard.

CB: Francesco Acerbi, Lazio

After Inter, the next-best defensive unit in Serie A was Lazio, who let in 42 (six more than Conte's men). Acerbi missed just two games all season and his form at the start of the season also saw him make three starts for Italy. The 32-year-old has proven himself to be one of Serie A's best stoppers, as evidenced by the fact he was dribbled past just six times this term. No other outfield player with more than 35 appearances did better than that.

LB: Theo Hernandez, Milan

Former France youth international Hernandez has rediscovered the early promise he showed during a fine loan spell at Deportivo Alaves in 2016-17. While question marks remain over his defensive abilities, the Atletico Madrid youth product has excited with his attacking tendencies in 2019-20. No defender completed more dribbles (57) than him, while he also had a hand in nine goals (six goals, three assists).

CM: Luis Alberto, Lazio

Since leaving Liverpool for Rome in 2016, Luis Alberto has arguably developed into one of the world's best creative midfielders. The Spain international sees passes few others can and he has put that to particularly good use in 2019-20, with his 106 chances created being a Serie A high. Similarly, his 15 assists was second only to Alejandro Gomez (16), as he helped Simone Inzaghi's men mount a title challenge. Often linked with a return home to Sevilla, Lazio will surely be doing everything they can to keep Luis Alberto at Stadio Olimpico.

CM: Fabian Ruiz, Napoli

The other half of a Seville-centric midfield, Real Betis product Fabian probably hasn't impressed quite as much as he did in 2018-19, but he has nevertheless continued to show plenty of promise. Still only 24, Fabian attempted the most passes (2,331) of any player in the league this season, while he had a hand in nine goals, the same amount as in the previous campaign.

AM: Alejandro Gomez, Atalanta

Like a fine wine, 'Papu' Gomez just seems to get better with age. Now 32, the Argentinian has enjoyed a fantastic season for the often-exhilarating Atalanta. He scored seven goals for a second successive season, but his haul of 16 assists is five more than 2018-19. That figure is the highest since Opta records began in 2004-05.

FWD: Paulo Dybala, Juventus

The Sarri-Juventus combination continues to puzzle many, but if there's one thing he has got right, it's helping Dybala get back to something resembling his best. He had been strongly linked with a move away last year, but Dybala was involved in 17 Serie A goals this term (11 goals, six assists) and managed to coexist with Ronaldo more effectively. Of his 11 strikes, eight (73 per cent) were the opening goals of matches, the biggest quantity among players with 10 or more.

FWD: Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus

Considering there being murmurs of discontent between himself and Sarri, and suggestions the coach hasn't been able to get the best out of the Portugal great, Ronaldo's had a pretty effective year. With 31 league goals, it's been his best goal-scoring campaign domestically since getting 35 with Real Madrid in 2015-16, while his goals have secured 24 points, more than any other player.

FWD: Ciro Immobile, Lazio

What a season Immobile has had. With 36 league goals, the Italy international equalled Gonzalo Higuain's record for a single campaign, while that haul also won him the coveted European Golden Shoe. On top of that, his record of nine assists was bettered by only Gomez, Luis Alberto and Domenico Berardi. If he can keep it up, Lazio will surely fancy themselves of challenging Juve again next term.

Ciro Immobile completed a sensational individual season by scoring against Napoli in Lazio's final Serie A outing.

The 30-year-old's first-half strike in Saturday's 3-1 defeat was his 36th goal in 37 top-flight appearances during 2019-20.

That astonishing return secured Immobile the Capocannoniere as Serie A's top scorer, along with the coveted European Golden Shoe.

Here, with some help from Opta Paolo, we take a look at his special efforts.

 

Joining Serie A's elite

If Immobile had managed a brace at Stadio San Paolo, he would have boasted the outright best season in Serie A history.

As it is, his 36 goals equalled the best mark in a single campaign set by Gonzalo Higuain in his Napoli days in 2015-16.

Immobile is only the fifth Italian to hit the 30-goal mark in his native country's premier competition, following Giuseppe Meazza (1929-30), Felice Borel (1933-34), Antonio Angelillo (1958-59) and Luca Toni (2005-06).

Golden days

Toni's prolific 2005-06 with Fiorentina made him the first Italian to be crowned the leading marksman in Europe, with Roma great Francesco Totti following suit the next season.

Immobile becomes the third Italian on that list and the first winner from Serie A since Totti.

In the intervening period, 10 of the 13 Golden Shoes have found predictable homes, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo winning six and four respectively.

Messi's Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez has two, while the latter's countryman Diego Forlan came out on top thanks to a bountiful 2008-09 at Atletico Madrid.

Ronaldo's 2007-08 campaign at Manchester United and Suarez's 2013-14 for Liverpool marked the only two times the award had been outside LaLiga in between Totti and Immobile's triumphs.

Making history at Lazio

Immobile is the third player to pass 100 goals in Serie A for Lazio, with his tally now at 103.

Club greats Silvio Piola and Giuseppe Signori are the Biancocelesti's other centurions.

Piola scored 143 in Serie A, while Signori is now just four ahead of Immobile on 107.

All of Immobile's Serie A goals for Lazio have come under Simone Inzaghi, amounting to the biggest haul for any player under a single head coach during Italy's three-points-for-a-win era, which began in 1994-95.

Inzaghi is developing his leading forward's game in more than one aspect. Immobile scored and supplied at least one assist in six Serie A games in 2019-20 – more than any other campaign in his career.

He finished the season with nine assists to his name.

Ciro Immobile completed a sensational individual season by scoring against Napoli in Lazio's final Serie A outing.

The 30-year-old's first-half strike in Saturday's 3-1 defeat was his 36th goal in 37 top-flight appearances during 2019-20.

That astonishing return secured Immobile the Capocannoniere as Serie A's top scorer, along with the coveted European Golden Shoe.

Here, with some help from Opta Paolo, we take a look at his special efforts.

 

Joining Serie A's elite

If Immobile had managed a brace at Stadio San Paolo, he would have boasted the outright best season in Serie A history.

As it is, his 36 goals equalled the best mark in a single campaign set by Gonzalo Higuain in his Napoli days in 2015-16.

Immobile is only the fifth Italian to hit the 30-goal mark in his native country's premier competition, following Giuseppe Meazza (1929-30), Felice Borel (1933-34), Antonio Angelillo (1958-59) and Luca Toni (2005-06).

Golden days

Toni's prolific 2005-06 with Fiorentina made him the first Italian to be crowned the leading marksman in Europe, with Roma great Francesco Totti following suit the next season.

Immobile becomes the third Italian on that list and the first winner from Serie A since Totti.

In the intervening period, 10 of the 13 Golden Boots have found predictable homes, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo winning six and four respectively.

Messi's Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez has two, while the latter's countryman Diego Forlan came out on top thanks to a bountiful 2008-09 at Atletico Madrid.

Ronaldo's 2007-08 campaign at Manchester United and Suarez's 2013-14 for Liverpool marked the only two times the award had been outside LaLiga in between Totti and Immobile's triumphs.

Making history at Lazio

Immobile is the third player to pass 100 goals in Serie A for Lazio, with his tally now at 103.

Club greats Silvio Piola and Giuseppe Signori are the Biancocelesti's other centurions.

Piola scored 143 in Serie A, while Signori is now just four ahead of Immobile on 107.

All of Immobile's Serie A goals for Lazio have come under Simone Inzaghi, amounting to the biggest haul for any player under a single head coach during Italy's three-points-for-a-win era, which began in 1994-95.

Inzaghi is developing his leading forward's game in more than one aspect. Immobile scored and supplied at least one assist in six Serie A games in 2019-20 – more than any other campaign in his career.

He finished the season with nine assists to his name.

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