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Inzaghi a predator by nature

Published: Wednesday 5 December 2007, 21.30CET
Filippo Inzaghi told he had "mother nature" to thank for his instincts after a 63rd goal on Tuesday made him the top scorer in UEFA club competition.
by Richard Aikman
from Milan
Inzaghi a predator by nature
Filippo Inzaghi (left) celebrates his goal against Celtic ©Getty Images features

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Published: Wednesday 5 December 2007, 21.30CET

Inzaghi a predator by nature

Filippo Inzaghi told he had "mother nature" to thank for his instincts after a 63rd goal on Tuesday made him the top scorer in UEFA club competition.

After becoming the all-time leading goalscorer in UEFA club competition Filippo Inzaghi told that it was a "great feeling" to have reached his unique personal milestone.

Remarkable milestone
The 34-year-old Inzaghi struck with 20 minutes to go to give AC Milan a 1-0 Matchday 6 success against Celtic FC and ensured his side reached the knockout stage as group winners for the sixth successive season. His winning strike also meant that 'Super Pippo' has overtaken Gerd Müller to become the only player to have scored 63 goals in UEFA club competition.

'Great feeling'
"It's a great feeling to have broken the record," he told "I'm especially pleased to have done it at San Siro, in front of my own supporters. I'd like to thank all the clubs I have played for and the team-mates that have helped me reach this objective. Now I'll try and keep going and keep scoring, particularly because a lot of those players chasing me in the goalscorers' charts are younger than me and will have more opportunities to catch me up."

'First goal'
Inzaghi, who has twice won the UEFA Champions League with AC Milan and was also a FIFA World Cup winner last year, may have scored 63 times in European competition but he still remembers vividly how it all first began - on 28 September 1995 when he netted the second goal in Parma FC's 2-0 win against Albanian outfit KS Teuta. "I remember the first goal I scored clearly," he recalled. "I scored it for Parma in the [UEFA] Cup Winners' Cup against Teuta. It was an important goal because it was my first European game and I scored in the last minute. I don't think you ever forget your first European goal."

'Favourite goals'
Having scored both his side's goals in last year's UEFA Champions League final against Liverpool FC there are no prizes for guessing which goals make the top two in Inzaghi's 63-goal chart, but in spite of his shimmering achievements the Piacenza-born striker still has other targets in his sights before finally hanging up his boots - and the next could be claimed as early as the Round of 16. "Obviously my favourite goals were the two I scored at Athens," he added. "There's no question about that. But next I'd love to reach 100 appearances in Europe."

'Absolutely delighted'
Inzaghi, who has now made 98 appearances in UEFA club competition, is also 12 goals shy of the all-time UEFA Champions League goalscoring record, currently held by Raúl González of Real Madrid CF, although the former Piacenza FC, Parma, Atalanta BC and Juventus striker feels that time will beat him to that landmark. "The Champions League record will be very difficult to reach," he confessed. "But in all honesty I'm already absolutely delighted to have reached the European goal record."

Natural instincts
Although not blessed with the breathtaking skills of a Kaká or the set-piece mastery of an Andrea Pirlo, Inzaghi's ability to sniff out a goal is, quite literally, second to none. "The fact that I find myself in the right place at the right time is something instinctive," he concluded. "You can work hard on certain areas of your game and improve and that is what I do. I also love what I do very much, but to be honest my instincts are thanks to mother nature. I have my parents to thank for that." So, too, do AC Milan.

Last updated: 06/12/07 21.05CET

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