With 11 of the weekend's 29 league goals scored by players born since 1990, Serie A is currently a hotbed of young striking talent. That ability was highlighted by Mauro Icardi as the forward became the first UC Sampdoria player to register four in a top-flight game for over 50 years, against Pescara Calcio on Sunday.
The 19-year-old Argentinian, who struck in November's Derby della Lanterna against Genoa CFC and sunk Juventus with a double in Turin earlier this month, achieved the feat in a 6-0 success. That matched the haul of Sergio Brighenti, who hit all the goals for the Blucerchiati in their 4-2 triumph against FC Internazionale Milano on 2 April 1961.
"This is another important step forward in my career," said Icardi, who joined Sampdoria from FC Barcelona's youth academy. "Today we wanted to play a great game for our president [Riccardo Garrone, who died last week] and we are very happy we did it. Scoring four goals in one game is a great emotion, especially because I am just 19. Italy coach Cesare Prandelli congratulated me and I am very happy."
Icardi's team-mate Pedro Obiang, 20, also found the net against Pescara. "Our coach [Delio Rossi] asked us to take the pitch and just have fun," said the Spanish youth international.
It was not just the Sampdoria duo who were flying the flag for youth. Over at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, Bologna FC's Manolo Gabbiadini registered, as did AS Roma's Alessandro Florenzi and Panagiotis Tachtsidis in the pyrothechnic 3-3 draw. All three were born in 1991.
Less surprising was yet another effort from AC Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy, in the 1-0 win at Atalanta BC. The 20-year-old has already notched 15 goals in 22 league games and is striking up a promising partnership with teenage French forward M'baye Niang, who provided the assist on Sunday.
Continuing the theme, Italy Under-21 front man Alberto Paloschi hit the decisive goal for AC Chievo Verona at S. S. Lazio on Saturday, while 21-year-old Colombian international Luis Muriel scored the winner for Udinese Calcio against AC Siena.
"I am happy but I have to keep my feet firmly on the ground," he said, before receiving plaudits from a man who knows a thing or two about scoring goals in Serie A. "In a couple of years, Muriel will be a top striker," predicted team-mate Antonio Di Natale.
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