The top scorer you’ve never heard of (Video)

Hands up if you remember Dario Hubner? No? Most people don’t and unless you were an Italian football fan around the start of the new millenium then you probably have no idea who I’m talking about. 
However, whilst Arsenal were winning the newly sponsored Barclaycard Premiership by going on a 13 game winning streak at the end of the season, Serie A minnows Piacenza were struggling to avoid relegation and ended the campaign in 12th place, just three points off the drop zone. Unremarkable you might say, but there was one incredible part of their team that season; a 35 year old striker who single handedly led them to safety.

 

Older footballers who are entering their twilight years tend to perform a certain function within their team. They are often used as substitutes, rarely complete a full 90 minutes and generally serve to provide some experience to the younger members of a team and to add a calming influence to proceedings. Not many players of this age can perform on a regular basis week in, week out and lead the attack for their team. Dario Hubner was required to perform exactly this role and he did it better than anyone could ever have expected.

 

By the end of the season he had scored a hugely impressive 24 goals, almost half of Piacenza’s goal tally for the season, and ended up as Capocannoniere, the title awarded to the highest goal scorer. What was so amazing about Hubner’s scoring exploits was that not only was he playing for a small team but that he was entering the twilight years of his career. He didn’t have electrifying pace or significant physical strength, but instead relied upon a poacher’s instinct and the habit of popping up in the right place at the right time. There is no doubt that without his goals Piacenza would not have survived in Serie A and begs the question why he never managed to play for a bigger team throughout his long career. 

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