Martin Samuel: In Anyone’s Language, Jimmy Greaves Was A Fine Goal Scorer

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One of the most common misconceptions about Jimmy Greaves is that he couldn’t make it as a player in Italy.

He was fine as a player, on the contrary. He scored nine goals in ten league games for AC Milan at a time when Italian defenses were renowned for being the hardest and most uncompromising in the world. Catenaccio, which translates as “door-bolt” in English, was at its peak.

To put Greaves’ brief tenure in context, if he had played the entire 34-match season, scoring nine times out of ten, he would have scored 30 goals, eight more than Serie A’s top scorers, Jose Altafini and Aurelio Milani.

Nobody has scored 30 goals in Italian football since Antonio Valentin Angelillo of Inter in 1958-59 and Luca Toni of Fiorentina in 2005-06. In Greaves’ year, just 11 goals were enough to place a player in the top ten scorers.

Source: Daily Mail

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