Italy National Team All-Time Top Scorers

    Roberto Baggio and Alessandro Del Piero | Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

    The legendary Dutch player and manager Johan Cruyff once remarked: “the Italians can’t beat you, but you can certainly lose to them.”

    The Azzurri, with their successes at four World Cups and a European Championship spanning more than 70 years, have been one of the most decorated men’s national teams throughout history. Yet, a nation renowned more for their defensive solidity rather than goalscoring prowess.

    However, alongside the scores of defenders – who range from bruising to balletic – Italy can boast some of Europe’s legendary forwards across a similar spectrum of grace and gusto.

    Antonio Di Natale
    Antonio Di Natale scored the only goal Spain conceded in the entirety of Euro 2012 | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Italy Career: 2002 – 2012

    Italy Goals: 11

    Italy Appearances: 42

    Like a fine wine, Antonio Di Natale only got better with age. More than half of his goals and caps came after his 30th birthday and many – particularly in Udine – will argue he was robbed of the chance to add to his tally after missing out on the 2014 World Cup squad.

    Italy Career: 1915 – 1929

    Italy Goals: 11

    Italy Appearances: 29

    As well as goalscoring, Cevenini was famed for his dedication to smoking, supposedly sneaking a cigarette with him out on to the pitch any way he could.

    Italy Career: 1924 – 1928

    Italy Goals: 11

    Italy Appearances: 28

    Virgilio Levratto, also known as ‘Lo Sfondareti’ – the net-ripper – honed his legendarily powerful shot by playing with a ball made of hardened offal fashioned at his local butcher as a child.

    Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo reacts a
    Andrea Pirlo was a pivotal player in Italy’s World Cup triumph in 2006 | MICHAEL URBAN/Getty Images

    Italy Career: 2002 – 2015

    Italy Goals: 13

    Italy Appearances: 116

    The elegant, deep-lying playmaker curiously finds his way onto a list of great Italian goal scorers which (spoiler alert) doesn’t contain Francesco Totti.

    Italy Career: 1991 – 1998

    Italy Goals: 13

    Italy Appearances: 44

    After playing a supplementary role at the 1994 World Cup, Casiraghi proved to be both hero and villain at the next international tournament, scoring a brace in the opening game before missing a crucial chance late on against the Czech Republic as Italy bowed out in the group stage of Euro 1996.

    Italy Career: 1929 – 1935

    Italy Goals: 13

    Italy Appearances: 35

    The Argentinian-born Raimundo Orsi’s move to Juventus and subsequent appearances for the national team were steeped in controversy given his scant Italian heritage. However, there were few protestations from those on the peninsula when he netted a late equaliser in the 1934 World Cup final.

    Italy Career: 1924 – 1932

    Italy Goals: 13

    Italy Appearances: 29

    The long-serving Livorno sharpshooter made up for his lack of club honours when he won the Olympic bronze medal with Italy in 1928.

    Italy Career: 1962 – 1974

    Italy Goals: 14

    Italy Appearances: 60

    When England’s World Cup-winning manager Sir Alf Ramsey was asked to name the four strongest Italian players in 1970, he answered: “Rivera, Rivera, Rivera, Rivera.”

    Italy Career: 1930 – 1938

    Italy Goals: 14

    Italy Appearances: 44

    One of only three Italians who can lay claim to two World Cup triumphs, Giovanni Ferrari enjoyed a trophy-laden career with both country and club, offering a potent goal-threat from midfield.

    Italian forward Mario Balotelli (R) cele
    Mario Balotelli’s celebration against Germany at Euro 2012 has become iconic | GABRIEL BOUYS/Getty Images

    Italy Career: 2010 – present

    Italy Goals: 14

    Italy Appearances: 36

    Mario Balotelli’s career is curious and tinged with regret given the striker’s undoubted talents which have, if not gone to waste, certainly not been fully exploited.

    Italy Career: 1935 – 1940

    Italy Goals: 15

    Italy Appearances: 26

    When Gino Colaussi – scorer of two goals which helped Italy win the 1938 World Cup final – was asked where he learnt his mesmeric dribbling ability, the bewitching winger simply replied: “I don’t know.”

    Italy Career: 1925 – 1934

    Italy Goals: 15

    Italy Appearances: 21

    Angelo Schiavio signed off in style, scoring the winning goal in the 1934 World Cup final in his final appearance for the national team.

    Italy Career: 1926 – 1931

    Italy Goals: 15

    Italy Appearances: 17

    Julio Libonatti’s move from Newell’s Old Boys to Torino not only opened the door for trans-Atlantic transfers but gave the Granata – and the Italian national team by default – a brutally efficient goalscorer.

    Gianluca Vialli
    Gianluca Vialli is still involved with the Italian national team | Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Italy Career: 1985 – 1992

    Italy Goals: 16

    Italy Appearances: 59

    Despite his place in this list, Gianluca Vialli was never truly able to replicate his sensational club form on the international stage and scored just one goal in 11 appearances at the World Cup or Euros.

    Italy's striker Luca Toni is pictured at
    Luca Toni scored in his first competitive appearance for Italy against Norway in 2004 | ALBERTO PIZZOLI/Getty Images

    Italy Career: 2004 – 2009

    Italy Goals: 16

    Italy Appearances: 47

    Before becoming the oldest player to ever top Serie A’s scoring charts, Luca Toni was Italy’s most prolific striker during their 2006 World Cup success.

    Italy Career: 2004 – 2013

    Italy Goals: 19

    Italy Appearances: 57

    One of Italy’s most exciting young strikers at the start of his career, Gilardino was the creator of a famous celebration, marking his goals by pretending to play the violin.

    Italy Career: 1975 – 1983

    Italy Goals: 19

    Italy Appearances: 42

    A forward of innumerable flicks and backheels, Roberto Bettega was at the tip of Juve’s all-conquering sides in the 1970s and 1980s, only missing out on Italy’s World Cup triumph in 1982 with one of many injuries and illnesses.

    Italy Career: 1977 – 1986

    Italy Goals: 20

    Italy Appearances: 48

    The title of Paolo Rossi’s autobiography draws a sharp focus on his most famous and important moment in an Italy shirt: I Made Brazil Cry. Rossi’s hat-trick against a legendary Brazil side in the 1982 World Cup – the first of a competition-high six goals he scored – was pivotal to Italy’s success in that year’s tournament.

    Daniele De Rossi is the fourth-most capped player in the history of Italian national team | AFP/Getty Images

    Italy Career: 2004 – 2017

    Italy Goals: 21

    Italy Appearances: 117

    As a key player – and scorer in the final’s penalty shootout – De Rossi is more than deserving of his World Cup winners medal in 2006. Yet, in a touching act of kindness, the former Azzurri skipper left his medal in the coffin of the team’s kitman, Pietro Lombardi.

    Italy Career: 1963 – 1974

    Italy Goals: 22

    Italy Appearances: 70

    Sandro Mazzola’s ascension to one of the finest players in the history of Inter and Italy is made all the more impressive given he was able to rise out of the shadow cast by the legendary figure of his father, Valentino.

    Italy Career: 1975 – 1983

    Italy Goals: 23

    Italy Appearances: 64

    A star of clubs outside Italy’s traditional elite, Francesco ‘Ciccio’ Graziani scored a decisive goal in the group stage of Italy’s ultimately triumphant 1982 World Cup campaign.

    Christian Vieri of Italy
    Christian Vieri was a terrifying proposition for opposition defenders | Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Italy Career: 1997 – 2005

    Italy Goals: 23

    Italy Appearances: 49

    Fast, strong, clinical. Christian Vieri was one of the most lethal – and hotly desired, given the number of clubs and cumulative transfer fee he commanded – of his era.

    Italy Career: 1980 – 1988

    Italy Goals: 25

    Italy Appearances: 61

    The well-rounded forward became just the second ever substitute to score in a World Cup final when he netted Italy’s third against West Germany in 1982.

    Filippo Inzaghi
    Filippo Inzaghi scored in his only appearance at Italy’s triumphant 2006 World Cup | Claudio Villa/ Grazia Neri/Getty Images

    Italy Career: 1997 – 2007

    Italy Goals: 25

    Italy Appearances: 57

    The striker Sir Alex Ferguson insisted was ‘born offside’ ensured he deceived the assistant referee on at least 25 occasions in the famous blue kit.

    Italy Career: 1920 – 1930

    Italy Goals: 25

    Italy Appearances: 47

    One of Italy’s greatest playmakers, Baloncieri holds the distinction of being the nation’s highest scoring midfielder.

    Alessandro Del Piero
    Alessandro Del Piero scored the latest goal in World Cup history against Germany in the 2006 semi-finals | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Italy Career: 1995 – 2008

    Italy Goals: 27

    Italy Appearances: 91

    A modern centre-forward, Del Piero all but perfected the art of cutting in from the left to curl the ball into the far top corner, doing so with such regularity it became known as the ‘Del Piero’ shot.

    Roberto Baggio
    Roberto Baggio scored in all three World Cups held in the 1990s | Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

    Italy Career: 1988 – 2004

    Italy Goals: 27

    Italy Appearances: 56

    The standout player of the 1994 World Cup, no one has scored more goals in the competition for Italy than Baggio.

    Italy Career: 1935 – 1952

    Italy Goals: 30

    Italy Appearances: 34

    Serie A’s all-time top scorer Silvio Piola was synonymous with goals and something of a good luck charm for the national team – over a period of 17 years, Italy only lost twice when Piola played for them.

    Italy Career: 1930 – 1939

    Italy Goals: 33

    Italy Appearances: 53

    Vittorio Pozzo, the manager of Italy’s two World Cup triumphs in 1934 and 1938, aptly summed up the impact brought by Giuseppe Meazza, his principal striker, in those sides, saying: “to have him in your team meant to start 1-0 up.”

    Italy Career: 1965 – 1974

    Italy Goals: 35

    Italy Appearances: 42

    Luigi ‘Gigi’ Riva’s shot was so ferocious that Gianni Brera – the definitive Italian sports journalist – perfectly christened him ‘Rombo di tuono’, ‘Thunder’.

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