Sampdoria thumped Udinese 4-0 last Saturday in a match that saw Fabio Quagliarella score twice to reach 11 consecutive Serie A games in which he has netted, drawing him level with Gabriel Batistuta, who set the record of most games in succession scored in between September and November 1994.
Batistuta set the record while playing for Fiorentina and some fans of La Viola have been quick to point out that Quagliarella is really two matches away from matching the Argentine’s mark. Batistuta scored in the final two matches of the 1992/93 season before the team was relegated and in the opening 11 matches of the 1994/95 season, though a season in Serie B separated his two campaigns in the top tier.
Quagliarella’s streak began when he scored against AC Milan on October 28, 2018, at the Stadio San Siro and he went on to amass 14 goals and 2 assists over the next 10 matches.
The last player to score in 11 consecutive league matches across Europe’s top 5 league was when Jamie Vardy hit the mark with Leicester City between August and November 2015. Quagliarella’s streak may be far off from Lionel Messi’s European record, 21 consecutive La Liga matches, but it has been good enough to make him the Serie A’s top scorer on 16 goals, one more than Cristiano Ronaldo and Duvan Zapata.
Quagliarella is in the midst of his best Serie A season as he sits only three goals off his record for goals in a season which was astonishingly set last season over 35 appearances. He has never broken the 20-goal barrier and with 17 matches remaining in the season, he looks set to break his record for the second season running this term.
The Sampdoria captain will have a chance to break Batistuta’s record this Saturday when Sampdoria take on Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo.
Given Quagliarella’s Neapolitan roots it is sure to be an emotional match. The veteran was born in a small town, Castellammare di Stabia, close to Naples and even played for Napoli during the 2009/10 season, however, it was a tumultuous time that ended with him moving to Juventus after being harassed by a stalker throughout the season.
Quagliarella has enjoyed a career revitalisation during his time at Sampdoria and his brace against Udinese gave him 143 career goals which puts him above Christian Vieri’s 142 and ties him with Marco Di Vaio as the joint 20th highest scoring Italian in Serie A history. His 143 goals is good enough to make him the top scoring active Serie A player, 34 goals over runner up Mauro Icardi.
Only time will tell if the Italian has what it takes to break a 25-year-old record and score in his twelfth straight match against one of Serie A’s top clubs as the Blucerchiati continue in their quest for European football.