Antonio Di Natale

Antonio Di Natale, born on 13 October 1977, is an Italian former professional footballer who played as a forward. He is diminutive and versatile and known in particular for his speed, good tactical intelligence and a lethal eye for goal.

His breakthrough subsequently came during the 2002-03 Serie A season, as he scored 13 goals in the league and helped Empoli avoid relegation. His performances and consistent goalscoring earned him a transfer to Udinese in 2004.

During the time when he was playing for Udinese after Empoli, Di Natale won the Serie A top goalscorer award in 2010 and 2011, and was also awarded the Serie A Italian Footballer of the Year for his performances in 2010. In addition, Di Natale won the UEFA European Championship runner-up, putting on Italy Football Shirt. Until May 5, 2013, Di Natale scored 20 goals totally in four consecutive seasons of Serie A. Therefore, he becomes the first player who gets such a high international level.

Unlike most strikers, Di Natale is a late bloomer. He enjoyed his most prolific seasons after the age of 30. In 2009 and 2011, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were the only two players to have scored more league goals than Di Natale. In 2015, France Football rated him as one of the 10 best footballers in the world who is over the age of 36.

His family is more important to him and happiness is more important than reputation and wealth. In August 2010, he rejected a transfer to Italian giants Juventus because his children had grown up in Udine and his family was settled and enjoyed living there.

Antonio Di Natale announced retirement in 2015. With 209 goals, he is the 6th highest goal-scorer in Serie A, and with 311 goals, he is the 8th highest scoring Italian player in all competitions.