Straight from the dark heart of Italy
He’s built more like a marathon runner than a footballer. He runs like a girl and pouts like one. He hasn’t the power in his legs to score from outside the penalty area. And when he isn’t diving around in the area he can usually be found in an offside position.
With all that going against him, how does Filippo Inzaghi continue to astonish the world of football with his ability to find the back of the net?
Unconditionally loved by the Milan faithful and despised by just about everyone else, the man who at Juventus refused to celebrate when Alessandro Del Piero scored, has been written off more times than a bad debt but still manages to confound even his sternest critics.
He now has eight goals in the last four games, after scoring just one all season in the league. And his hat-trick at Livorno on Sunday has fired the Rossoneri back into the hunt for fourth place and another shot at the club’s favourite pastime: the Champions League.
Now 34, SuperPippo has always had to prove himself.
Johan Cruyff hit the nail on the head when he said that Inzaghi wasn’t the sort of player he would race off to watch – but he got the
"I remember the first time Pippo was called up for Italy," a former Italy international once told James Richardson. "In training we all stood stunned because his technique was the worst we'd seen. But despite it all, he just scores and scores."
If the ball goes in the net, he couldn’t care less how it got there... as long as he's the one wheeling away in celebration.
Inzaghi: It doesn't matter how they go in, just as long as they do
Liverpool fans will recall his wild delight when his chest got in the way of Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick for the opener in last year’s Champions League final and how his second goal trickled over the line.
And it doesn't matter if the game doesn't matter. A few years ago, Inzaghi scored a meaningless fifth for Milan in a league game against Torino. He went crazy, screaming wildly, as if he'd netted the title decider. Torino's players were furious. They even tried to attack him. Later, Inzaghi apologised, explaining that every goal was "like a mystical experience."
Then there are the endless injury setbacks.
He has just come back from another bout of niggling strains and muscle pulls and even though he spent almost two years sidelined with knee, back, ankle and even a wrist injury, he has still seen off rivals like Alberto Gilardino and Ronaldo.
There are the rumours of him keeping a log of all his goals and sitting up to the wee small hours watching re-runs of his finest moments but that seems worth it when you take stock of the figures.
He is the all-time leading goalscorer in European club cup competitions on 63 goals, he netted 57 goals in 120 appearances for Juve and so far has hit 98 for Milan, not to mention the 25 from 57 international games for Italy.
He knows that time is not on his side and it has heightened his desire to grab every moment that comes along – the brace against Liverpool followed by another double in the Club World Cup against Boca Juniors spring to mind.
He is a more sanguine figure these days. He has even joked of late that he is beginning to accept some of the offside decisions against him.
And with Roberto Donadoni still undecided on his forwards for the European Championships, the spindly-legged goal-getter could yet be the surprise inclusion in the Azzurri squad this summer.
Go Pippo! You are truly a succes story proving that heart and hard work can make dreams come true.
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