There was a time when Lega Serie A was a footballing Mecca – a holy grail of sorts for Club football. This was the Serie A of the 90s, but this too was the Serie A conquered by the languid and hypnotizing brilliance of a certain Diego Maradona, who captained Societa Sportiva Napoli at the peak of his powers. Serie A of the 90s was generous in its fortunes. The likes of Milan, Juventus, Lazio, and Sampdoria all tasted glory at the pinnacle of Italian football. But it all started with one of the greatest love stories in Calcio to date–Diego Maradona, SSC Napoli, goals, and the much coveted Scudetto. Find the list of the top 10 Napoli goalscorers of all time below.
10. Jose Altafini (89 Goals)
The legendary José Joo Altafini scored his 100th Serie A goal at the youthful age of 24, and is sometimes recognized as the most complete striker of his period. The Brazilian striker, who played for AC Milan, Napoli, and Juventus, amassed 216 Serie A goals in total, but 71 of those came when he was wearing a Napoli jersey at Stadio San Paolo, and his efforts while wearing that jersey are still noteworthy. Altafini possessed lightning-quick speed, razor-sharp goal-scoring instincts, and extraordinary ball-control skills. He even had the pleasure of playing for both Brazil and Italy at different World Cups, which is possibly the best evidence of his reputation as a Milan and Napoli great.
9. Gonzalo Higuain (91 Goals)
Gonzalo Higuain has 91 goals in 149 appearances for Napoli, giving him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.61. This means that the 32-year-old Argentinian striker has scored slightly more than 3 goals (exactly 3.05) in every 5 appearances for the Blues. Higuain is the second Argentinian footballer after Diego Maradona on the list of Napoli’s all-time leading scorers. Although Higuain is among the top 10 goal scorers in Napoli history, the team for whom he has played the most and scored the most goals is not Napoli.
8. Careca (96 Goals)
Antonio de Oliveira Filho, also known as Careca, is the first pure Brazilian player to make the list of top 10 Napoli goalscorers of all time. He has scored 96 goals in 221 games for Napoli. With a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.43, the Brazilian player has really scored 2.15 goals in every 5 times he has played for the Blues, which is little more than two goals per game. 73 of the 96 goals Careca has scored for Napoli—or 76% of all of his goals for the team—have been scored at the league level. The remaining goals Careca has scored for Napoli (15) have all come in domestic cup competitions.
7. Antonio Vojak (103 Goals)
One of the very few players to have witnessed both sides of the emotional conflict between Juventus and Napoli. The magnificent Attila Sallustro shared a generation with Antonio Vojak. Although the famed Naples team has since passed away, Vojak will undoubtedly be mentioned when Sallustro’s achievements are recalled on Naples’ streets. Vojak, an Austra-Hungarian striker, played for Lazio, Juventus, Napoli, Genoa, and Lucchese-Libertas before finishing his career with them. However, it was while playing for Napoli that he attained the height of his abilities.
6. Edison Cavani (104 goals)
When it comes to scoring goals, the name Cavani is a whole business by itself. The Uruguayan began playing Italian football with Palermo, but in the early 2010s, Walter Mazzarri’s Societa Sportiva Napoli gave the tenacious poacher the opportunity to prove himself as a World Class center-forward. While Cavani’s razor-sharp proficiency in the box helped the Azzurri secure Champions League qualification (before 2011/12) and the coveted Coppa Italia trophy (2012), it was his appetite and application to create and score goals with unerring regularity that makes his exalted status in the Italian footballing community untouchable. Cavani scored 104 goals for the Partonepei in more than 100 appearances in a Napoli shirt.
5. Attila Sallustro (108 Goals)
Sallustro’s failure to make the Italian National team despite his god-given skills will likely be the most discouraging passage in his Napoli Diaries. Attila Sallustro, one of the very few Paraguayan sportsmen born into incredible riches, steadfastly refused to accept any money from Napoli, but he failed to control the fixation with scoring goals that set him apart from his contemporaries. The Stadio San Paolo was the home of Il Divino for most of his professional career. He joined the Neapolitans in 1926, stayed with the team for a total of twelve years, and retired in 1937, but during that time, he scored an incredible number of goals that had never previously been recorded in the club’s history.
4. Diego Armando Maradona (115 Goals)
The Golden Boy, or El Pibe de Oro. The world saw Diego Maradona at his most alluring during his time at Napoli, but that moniker lingered with him throughout his glitzy professional football career. The envy of the whole human race and the standard by which all playmakers will be judged for all time. The advanced playmaker left Barcelona after a career marred by injuries and scandal and signed with Napoli for a then-record sum of £ 6.9 million. Although Neapolitans at the time faced a number of socioeconomic difficulties, they still believed that their messiah had finally come to earth. They weren’t deluded; Diego Maradona didn’t solve all of their issues, but as captain and top scorer, the Argentine provided the Gli Azzurri supporters with the ideal solace.
3. Marek Hamsik (121 Goals)
Marek Hamsik needed to make 478 appearances over the course of 11 seasons to obtain an all-access backstage pass to one of Diego Maradona’s several monuments. In a satisfying game for Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli, Brazilian midfielder Allan danced past three Sampdoria defenders before finding the diminutive Dries Mertens, who brilliantly rolled the ball for Hamsik to tap in from close range, surpassing Diego Maradona’s incredible 115 goals for the Gli Azzurri.
2. Lorenzo Insigne (122 Goals)
Lorenzo Insigne is the first true Italian to play football and the only player among the top 10 scorers ever to have played for the same Italian club twice. He has made 258 appearances for Napoli and 90 goals in those games. The Italian footballer has scored one goal in every four appearances for the Blues, giving him the third-lowest goal-to-appearance ratio on the list with a ratio of 0.25.
1. Dries Mertens (148 goals)
In 322 games with Napoli, Dries Mertens has 125 goals to his credit. As a result, he really has a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.38, meaning the 33-year-old Belgian striker has scored precisely 1.9 goals in every five times he has played for the Blues. 93 of the 125 goals Mertens has scored for Napoli—or 74% of all his goals for the team—have been scored at the league level. The remaining goals (32 of them) were scored in UEFA tournaments (26), as well as six domestic cups, helping him top our list of the top 10 Napoli goalscorers of all time
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