Antonion Di Natale: The “What if” Striker

Antonio Di Natale, a 35-year-old Italian striker, currently playing for Italian top-flight team Udinese Calcio, has made his Serie A debut at the age of 24 after his former club’s promotion and has later developed into one of the most prolific goal-scorers of the league.

But what could have possibly happened if he started his career earlier in the Serie A, and moved to a bigger club?

Let’s take a closer look at our “What if” player.

By the end of the 2003/2004 season and after only two seasons in the Serie A, Di Natale’s team back then, Empoli, were relegated. For the following season, Di Natale joined his current club: Udinese.

After putting up some good performances for a few years, in 2007 he becomes captain of the team. He comes back for the 2009/2010 season from a long injury, wins the Serie A top-scorer award and keeps hold of it for another season. At that time he was in his early 30s. It was already too late for him to step up his career.

But what if he started his Serie A career at the age of 18? Would he have had a longer career in the spotlight? What if that happened, and he moved to one of the big European teams? Would he have become another Henry? What if he had a normal career path without injuries and had the opportunity to show everyone the player he is? Would have he been remembered as one of the best strikers of his generation, and maybe of all time?

Without a doubt, he has been one of the most exciting strikers over the past few years. With his amazing goal-scoring ability, touch, ball control and positioning, Di Natale is one of the “old” strikers that deserve a lot of respect and admiration.

The following video shows some of the Italians’ goals in the 2012/2013 season.

During that season, he was 35 years old for the most part and scored a total of 26 goals in all competitions. 


Simon Sammour