Serie A: Andrea Belotti Hat-trick a Warning to Gonzalo Higuain, Edin Dzeko
He may lack "huge talent" but Torino's Andrea Belotti underlined his bid to beat Gonzalo Higuain and Edin Dzeko to Serie A's top scorer award with a hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Palermo on Sunday.
Andrea Belotti. (Getty Images)
Milan: He may lack "huge talent" but Torino's Andrea Belotti underlined his bid to beat Gonzalo Higuain and Edin Dzeko to Serie A's top scorer award with a hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Palermo on Sunday.
Belotti, who has scored three goals in five games for Italy after making his debut last year, started the day tied with Juventus striker Higuain and Roma counterpart Dzeko at the top of the scoring charts on 19 goals.
But the 23-year-old streaked clear in the race for the coveted 'Capocannoniere' award by claiming a hat-trick against his former club in the space of eight second-half minutes in Turin.
It was his second of the league season, having hit three while also missing a penalty in a 5-1 rout of Bologna last August.
Not bad for a player who, according to former AC Milan supremo Arrigo Sacchi, is not a natural.
"He's a great example for younger players because God didn't bless him with huge talent," Sacchi had told media in Milan on Saturday.
"He has greater attributes like generosity, enthusiasm and passion."
After being told post-match he was top of the goalscoring charts in Italy, a smiling Belotti said: "I don't know how the Juventus game went, but I want to thank my teammates for three great assists."
Juventus were held to their first league draw in over a year at Udinese, where Leonardo Bonucci's header on the hour levelled proceedings after Duvan Zapata's first-half opener.
Belotti usually celebrates his goals by putting an open hand to his forehead to imitate a rooster -- his nickname is 'Il Gallo' (rooster).
But a two-year spell with Palermo, as well as his future wife Giorgia hailing from the Sicilian city, meant he changed tack for the day.
"I had two great years at Palermo and still have lots of friends here. The fans always showed me respect, so I didn't want to celebrate," he explained.
A lack of celebration doe snot mean a lack of focus, though.
"It would be amazing to win the top scorer's award," he added.
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