Vlahovic equals Ronaldo 21st century Serie A goals record – then promises to buy boss dinner

By Sports Desk December 19, 2021

Dusan Vlahovic matched Cristiano Ronaldo's momentous 33-goal year with Juventus as the Fiorentina striker scored again – leaving him a hat-trick short of an all-time Serie A record.

The 21-year-old Serbian scored for the sixth game in succession on Sunday, helping Fiorentina battle back from two goals down at half-time to draw 2-2 with Sassuolo.

Vlahovic will match a calendar year goals record set by Gunnar Nordahl in 1950 if he nets three times against Hellas Verona on Wednesday.

That is Fiorentina's last game of the year, as Serie A goes on its winter break, but Vlahovic has already equalled Ronaldo's 21st century record, which was established just last year.

Nordahl's epic 36-goal year for Milan marks the last time any player scored more than 33 in the Italian top flight across a calendar year.

 

Only one player has scored in more than six consecutive Serie A games for Fiorentina, with Argentine great Gabriel Batistuta netting in 11 straight fixtures in 1994.

Vlahovic has 16 league goals in the current season, and he was eager for more before being substituted in the 88th minute against Sassuolo, a decision that left him unimpressed.

Despite making his feelings known to coach Vincenzo Italiano, the pair were soon back on good terms.

"He wasn't happy to come off, but we made up, he'll buy me a dinner," Italiano later said, according to Sky Italia.

Ronaldo scored 33 Serie A goals in 2020 for Juventus, at an astonishing rate of one every 76.24 minutes.

Vlahovic has matched the haul but not the regularity, with his 33 coming along at one per 111.67 minutes on the pitch.

They have come from an expected goals (xG) total of just 22.4, however, pointing to razor-sharp finishing from a player who has been linked with Europe's elite amid his impressive run of form.

Only three players in Serie A history have scored more than Vlahovic in Fiorentina's first 18 league games of a season, Opta said. Those players were Miguel Angel Montuori (17 in 1958-59), Batistuta (17 in 1998-99) and Luca Toni (16 in 2005-06).

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