Immobile by name, not by nature.
158 goals in 272 games, that’s not a bad return by anyone’s standards.
What if we chucked 41 assists into the mix too? Not bad, right?
These impressive stats belong to Ciro Immobile — so why is he still so underrated?
The Lazio frontman is one of Europe’s most-consistent goalscorers yet sparsely gets the praise his play warrants.
The 28-year-old was a late bloomer in footballing terms. Think Jamie Vardy, sort of.
Immobile started out as a youth player at Juventus but failed to make the grade, only ever managing a handful of appearances in Turin.
The Italian was farmed out on loans to Serie B sides Siena, Grosseto and Pescara, before getting his big break in Italy’s top flight with Genoa.
Since that breakthrough season in 2012/13, Immobile hasn’t looked back.
He’s emerged as one of Europe’s most prolific goalscorers, with a poor year at Borussia Dortmund the only blot on his copy book.
Since moving to Rome, he’s become the gladiatorial talisman for a side on the rise.
Lazio are reaping the rewards for their faith.
Simone Inzaghi’s side are blessed with a striker who can do a bit of everything.
His attacking intelligence and eye for goal have helped propel Lazio to new heights.
73 goals in 98 appearances for the two-time Serie A winners have meant he’s paid back their £8million investment and then some.
He picked up his second Capocannoniere (Serie A Golden Boot) of his career last season after finding the net 29 times.
The Italian’s goal tally surpassed the total for his first award winning season with Torino in 2013/14 when he scored 22.
He’s only getting better with age.
The 28-year-old is finally getting his chance on the international stage.
Seven goals in 33 appearances for an Italy side blessed with great strikers is nothing to baulk at.
Immobile has had to fight for starts under Roberto Mancini in a squad which includes Andrea Belotti, Mario Balotelli and Sebastian Giovinco.
A regular starting-berth for the forward could spark Italy’s rejuvenation to superpower status on the world stage.
Immobile’s omission from the Ballon d’Or 30-man shortlist has been ridiculed by those familiar with his goalscoring antics.
An outrageous 41 in 53 appearances in all competitions last season placed him at the top of the pile in both Serie A and the Europa League.
Only Lionel Messi, Mo Salah and Harry Kane found the net more times than the 28-year-old.
And yet he was still given the cold shoulder by FIFA.
It’s bizarre that Karim Benzema found himself on the shortlist after managing only 12 goals last season.
Yes, there have been some notable changes to the criteria for a nominee, but Immobile’s omission is just plain madness.
The snub reaffirms his position as one of Europe’s most underrated strikers.
Immobile will be in direct competition with Cristiano Ronaldo this season in pursuit of his third Capocannoniere.
It might take outscoring the five-time Ballon d’Or for the Italian to finally be recognised as the world class talent he is.
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