June 22, 2021

Crotone’s Nwankwo equals Trezeguet, Protti & Bettini Serie A record

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The Nigerian’s effort against the Sorcerers saw him match an undesirable feat in the Italian elite division history

Simeon Nwankwo becomes the fourth player in Serie A history to score at least 20 goals for a relegated side in a single season.

The Nigeria international achieved this feat having found the net as 10-man Crotone played a 1-1 draw with Benevento at the Stadio Ciro Vigorito.

Gianluca Lapadula had put the hosts ahead in the 13th minute, albeit, the lanky strike ensured Serse Cosmi’s side settle for a point.

His late minute strike was his 20th of the 2020-21 Italian elite division campaign – and in the process joined Lorenzo Bettini, David Trezeguet and Igor Protti in hallowed Serie A ranks.

During the 1954-55 season Bettini found the net on 20 occasions – seven short of AC Milan’s Gunnar Nordahl – nonetheless, Udinese got demoted to Serie B.

Although the White and Blacks finished in the second position after amassing 44 points from 34 games – they were relegated to the second tier by the Italian Football Federation for a corruption case.

41 years later, Bari’s Protti equalled the mark as the Cockerels got relegated alongside Padova, Cremonese and Torino.

That season, Protti shared the Golden Boot with Lazio star Giuseppe Signori as they found the net 24 times.

It was the turn of Trezeguet to attain this exploit in 2005-06. Despite finding the net on 23 times, that did not prevent the Frenchman and Juventus from going down.

The Turin based outfit were originally the champions but were placed at the base of the league table owing to the Calciopoli scandal.

Calciopoli was a match-fixing scandal in Italy’s top professional football league, Serie A, and to a lesser extent Serie B.

The scandal was uncovered in May 2006, when a number of telephone interferences showed relations between team managers and referee organisations during the 2004–05 and 2005–06 seasons, being accused of selecting favourable match officials.

For Nwankwo who is next to Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan), Luis Muriel (Atalanta) and Dusan Vlahovic (Fiorentina) on the topscorer’s chart, he would be hoping to end the season on a high when his team welcomes Fiorentina to the Stadio Ezio Scida on May 22.