‘One of the greats’ Di Natale breaks league appearance record
Di Natale is widely considered as one of the greatest Italian forwards of all time
After a match against Juventus, Antonio Di Natale was confirmed in many people’s minds as the greatest ever Udinese player as he broke their long standing record of total league appearances. Taking his total above club legend Valerio Bertollo, the record now stands at 337 games, and with the striker continuing to start for his club side, that number will only rise.
Joining the club in 2004/5 from Empoli, it took him three years to fully settle, and at the age of 30, found the net 17 times, and asserted himself as their first choice striker. For the next half a decade Di Natale has only got better with age, and netted an incredible 218 times in that spell. His stunning form and uncanny ability to find the net even into his late 30’s has attracted the praise of many, with this feat yet another in his glittering career. Recently appointed as the new player manager of the club that he holds so close to his heart, he spoke to fans outside the club’s stadium after the game.
‘I am truly thankful for everyone related with the club, who believed in me when no-one else, who brought me back up when I was at my lowest point, and it is to those men and women who I want to dedicate this feat to. I will continue to play to the best of my ability, and also take on the extra responsibilities off the pitch as manager, aiming to bring the most possible success to this great club.’
Former Udinese captain, Valerio Bertollo was present in the stadium as he witnessed his record being broken, and the former right back was full of praises for the man who took his place in the record book.
‘Antonio is one of the greats of our sport. To stay at one club for such a long period, and consistently deliver at an exceptional level every minute of every game of every single is a stunning accolade. In my opinion, he is one of the greatest forwards the Italian game has ever seen, and all the youngsters of the nation should look up to him. An honest, hard-working man, who will be remembered by not only the club, but the whole world, for a very long time’.