Quagliarella bids farewell months after painful relegation

Fabio Quagliarella has announced his farewell from football. The iconic striker has been without a club since the end of the last season and has confirmed that he will not embark on a new adventure. Only eight players have played more matches in Serie A than the striker.

Quagliarella bids farewell months after painful relegation
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Four years ago, Quagliarella was the top scorer of Serie A. The now almost 41-year-old striker, in the service of Sampdoria, managed to become Italy's top scorer at the age of 36. With 26 goals, he surpassed players like Duván Zapata, Krzysztof Piatek, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Arek Milik.

In the following seasons, Quagliarella's production declined significantly, but the striker was still highly valued. However, he ended his career disappointingly. In the 2022/23 season, he scored only once, and Quagliarella, with Sampdoria, was relegated as the bottom team of Serie A. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that the striker's expiring contract would not be renewed, denying him the opportunity to lead Sampdoria back to the top level.

The expectation was that Quagliarella would announce his retirement shortly after this news, but the official confirmation came only this weekend. In an interview with Sky Sport Italia, he confirmed it. 'Have I retired? Yes, I am forced to retire. I am a free agent, but I am not in an acceptable physical condition to return to the field,' said the striker who scored 182 times in Serie A, ranking thirteenth on the all-time top scorers list. He played 556 matches at the highest level in Italy and is only surpassed by eight players with those numbers.

Quagliarella made his debut in 2000 as a Torino player in Serie A but played the most matches for Sampdoria by far. In his career, he also played for clubs like Udinese, Napoli, and Juventus. He won three titles in Turin. For the Italian national team, Quagliarella earned 29 caps, scoring 8 goals. The Italian played in the 2010 World Cup (and scored as a substitute in his only World Cup match) and also got minutes in Euro 2008. He is still Italy's oldest goalscorer, scoring against Liechtenstein at the age of 36.