Empoli Football Club is commonly known as Empoli. It is an Italian football club located in Empoli. The club was founded in 1920. Empoli has struggled a lot to establish itself outside of Italy. The club was earlier not known to many non-Serie A followers. But later on, the club performed its best and is now famous across the world. Let’s discuss here the top 10 best strikers of Empoli.
1. Massimo Maccarone
Massimo Maccarone was born on 6 September 1979. He is an Italian football coach and former football player, who played as a striker. He was famous during his playing career. Maccarone began his professional career in the A.C. Milan youth system. He joined the Serie C2 team Prato in 1999. Further, he scored 20 goals in 28 league games for the team. He completed the 1999–2000 Serie C2 season as the top goal scorer. Massimo joined Milan again in 2000 and moved to Empoli F.C.
Massimo was one of the crucial players for the Italian U21 team, which helped them move to the semi-finals of the 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. His playing skills caught the attention of several teams. Middlesbrough of the English Premier League acquired Maccarone on July 9, 2002, for a fee of £8.15 million. He was on loan to Serie A team Parma for the first half of the 2004–2005 season and to Siena in January 2005. Further, he returned to Middlesbrough for the 2005–06 season. Maccarone signed a three-year deal and left on a free transfer to Siena in January 2007. Further, he has agreed to a move to Sicilian Serie A club Palermo, signing a three-year deal with the Rosanero, for €4.5 million. Maccarone signed for Sampdoria for €2.7 million on 24 January 2011. He returned to Empoli in temporary deals from January 2012 to June 2014.
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2. Antonio Di Natale
Antonio Di Natale was born on 13th October 1977. He is an Italian football coach and former football player who played as a forward. Further, he is in charge as head coach of Serie C club Carrarese. Di Natale began his professional career in 1996 with the Empoli senior side after playing for the Empoli youth team since 1994. Till 2004, he remained a member of the team. He scored 16 goals while playing for Empoli, which helped the team get promoted to Serie A during the 2001–2002 Serie B season. His big break came in Serie A during the 2002–03 campaign when he scored 13 goals in the league and kept Empoli from being relegated. His performances and goal-scoring abilities helped him to move to Udinese in 2004. He helped Udinese in finishing third and fourth in Serie A and qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.
He was made the club’s captain in 2007. Further, he received the Serie A top goalscorer award in 2010 and 2011. He was also awarded the Serie A Italian Footballer of the Year award for his excellent performances in 2010. Di Natale is Udinese’s top goal-scorer in Serie A as he has scored 191 goals in 385 matches. He has also scored 17 goals in 37 matches in UEFA club competitions. He is the sixth-highest goal scorer in Serie A with 209 goals, and he has scored 311 goals overall. Di Natale played for the Italy team 42 times between 2002 and 2012 and scored 11 goals. He played for Italy in the UEFA Euro 2008, the FIFA World Cup 2010, and Euro 2012.
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3. Francesco Tavano
Francesco Tavano was born on 2 March 1979. He is an Italian footballer who plays as a striker for Prato. Tavano began his career with Pisa. Then he moved to the Serie C2 team Rondinella. Further, he joined Empoli, where he became one of the team’s stars in the small Tuscan league. In the middle of 2006, he finally agreed to join Valencia for €9 million. He received a call-up from the Italy team in April 2006. In 2007, he joined Livorno, for €5.5 million on a four-year deal.
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4. Manuel Pucciarelli
Manuel Pucciarelli was born on 17 June 1991. He is an Italian football player who plays as an attacking midfielder for A-League club Melbourne City. Pucciarelli started out in the youth division of Jolly Montemurlo. He moved to Empoli when he was 10 years old. On 29 May 2011, he made his first-team debut against Vicenza. He was loaned out to Lega Pro Seconda Divisione team Gavorrano on January 22, 2012, where he made 17 appearances and scored 10 goals. After his promotion to the Serie A with Empoli, he started playing against Udinese on 31 August 2014. Further, he scored his first Serie A goal on 23 September against AC Milan.
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5. Nicola Pozzi
Nicola Pozzi was born on 30 June 1986. He is an Italian footballer who currently plays as a striker for San Donato. In January 2004, he joined A.C. Milan from then-Serie C1 side, Cesena. Before spending the next two seasons on loan at Empoli F.C., he had previously been loaned to Napoli and Pescara. He scored four goals on 9 December 2007 in Empoli’s 4–1 victory over Cagliari. Pozzi also played for Italy at the Under-21 level.
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6. Tommaso Rocchi
Tommaso Rocchi was born on 19 September 1977. He is a former Italian professional football player who played as a striker. Rocchi spent a major portion of his career with Lazio. Further, he is the club’s sixth-highest goalscorer of all time. Rocchi was capped three times for the Italian national team at the international level. Rocchi played for Empoli for more than 100 matches and scored 29 goals overall. Out of which, he scored 16 goals in Serie A. During the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, Rocchi had shown his excellent playing skills. On January 18, 2004, he scored the game-winning goal against Inter. A week later, he scored a hat-trick against Juventus.
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7. Luca Saudati
Luca Saudati was born on 18 January 1978 in Milan. He is an Italian footballer who played as a winger or as a second striker. He began his professional career in the A.C. Milan youth system. In June 2001, he finally signed with Serie A club Atalanta. In the summer of 2002, he was loaned out to Serie A’s Empoli. Further, in the summer of 2005, he returned back to Atalanta, again in Serie B. Before being loaned out once more to Serie A team U.S. Lecce, he scored 3 goals in 12 games.
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8. Francesco Caputo
Francesco Caputo was born on 6 August 1987. He is an Italian football player who plays as a striker for Serie A club Sampdoria, on loan from Sassuolo. Further, he plays for the Italian team. Caputo began his professional career in the Pugliesi amateur divisions. Then, in the summer of 2008, he joined Bari. Caputo won the Serie B championship with the team in the 2008–09 season. He was given on loan to Siena for the next season. In 2011, he went back to Bari, where he spent the next four seasons.
He joined Entella in 2015 on a loan. He spent two seasons with Entella, during which he scored 35 goals. Caputo agreed to join Empoli for a four-year deal worth €2.8 million on August 18, 2017. During the 2017–18 season, he assisted Empoli in winning the Serie B championship and getting promoted to Serie A. He finished as the top scorer in the league, with 26 goals. Further, Caputo signed with Sassuolo on 13 July 2019.
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Eder Citadin Martins was born on 15 November 1986. He is a football player who plays as a forward for the Brazilian club Sao Paulo FC. Eder moved to Italy at age 19. He began his career with the Brazilian club Criciuma and moved to the Italian club Empoli in January 2006. Further, he spent most of his career in the country for clubs such as Empoli, Sampdoria, and Inter Milan. He moved to China in 2018 joining Jiangsu Suning. In 2021, he returned to Brazil, joining Sao Paulo.
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10. Vincenzo Montella
Vincenzo Montella was born on 18 June 1974. He is an Italian retired footballer who played as a striker. He received the Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italiana during the 2000–01 season. Later he helped the club in reaching the 2003 Coppa Italia final. Montella was inducted into the A.S. Roma Hall of Fame in 2013. He played 20 matches for Italy between 1999 and 2005 and scored three goals. He played a key role in the Italian team that reached the final of UEFA Euro 2000. Further, he played for his country at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
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