Alasdair Mackenzie Date: 30th July 2020 at 12:45pm
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You couldn’t have scripted Ciro Immobile’s pursuit of a place in the Serie A history books any better.

On Saturday, Naples-born Ciro heads to his hometown to try and score the two goals needed to pinch the single-season scoring record off Napoli. Get the popcorn out.

After a frustrating evening against Brescia on Wednesday, the 30-year-old was eventually rewarded for his persistence with a well-taken finish inside the final 10 minutes.

It was his 35th goal of the season. Thirty. Fifth.

Those have come in the space of 36 matches, and leave him alone on top of the European golden boot charts, after his winner against the Rondinelle left Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski in his dust.

It’s been the most phenomenal campaign of a phenomenal spell at Lazio for the Italy international.

He has scored 102 Serie A goals for the Roman club since joining at the start of the 2016/17 season, a total that only Lionel Messi (132), Lewandowski (115) and Cristiano Ronaldo (103) have bettered in Europe’s top five leagues during the period.

Only one player has reached 100 Serie A goals for a club faster than Immobile, who did it in 140 games with the Aquile: Christian Vieri at Inter, in 134 games.

There is much more to the man and the player than his goals, as he demonstrated against Brescia with his ninth assist of the season.

As well as setting goals up, his leadership as vice-captain and his tireless work off the ball to make this Lazio side tick are characteristics often overlooked by his critics.

But there is no doubt that goals are the focus now, as Immobile heads into the final day of the season knowing that two more of them will make him a Serie A legend.

The only thing that has been as consistent as the ball hitting the net during Immobile’s time with the Aquile has been the speculation surrounding a move to his hometown club Napoli.

Now, his fellow Neapolitans stand in the way of his pursuit of the single season goalscoring record.

What’s more, the record Immobile seeks to break is currently held by Napoli, thanks to Gonzalo Higuain’s 36-goal haul at the San Paolo in 2015/16.

There is more to the game than just Immobile’s personal objectives, as Lazio know that a win will guarantee them at least third place with Inter and Atalanta above them facing off.

Second place would be the Biancocelesti’s highest finish since they won the league 20 years ago, and a fitting reward for what has been a superb season for the club.

There will always be regrets about the loss of momentum during the three-month break and the injury problems and struggle for form that followed.

But Immobile earning a place in the record books in his home city, for a club that has become his adopted home, is a delicious story line and one that would give him a fitting end to what should be remembered as nothing other than a virtuoso season for the striker.