Friday, October 13, 2017

13 October 1977 - Di Natale's Natale

On 13 October 1977, striker Antonio Di Natale was born in Naples. He went on to become one of Italy's top scorers, leading Serie A in back-to-back seasons.

He started his professional career in 1996 with Empoli, at that time in Serie B, but made only one appearance in that first season, then spent the next two on loan. In 1999, he finally broke into Empoli's first team, making 30 appearances in all competitions and scoring seven goals. His best season there was 2001-02, when his 16 league goals helped them get promoted to Serie A and earned Di Natale his first cap with Italy.

After the 2003-04 season, with Empoli relegated back to Serie B, he stayed in the top flight by moving to Udinese and immediately helped them to a fourth-place finish. His breakout season came in 2009-10, when he scored 29 goals to claim the Capocannoniere and the 2010 Italian Footballer of the Year award. He claimed the scoring title a second time in 2010-11 with 28 goals.

He remained with Udinese until his retirement in 2016, scoring a total of 227 goals in 446 appearances for the club.

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