Roma star Dzeko planning Wolfsburg return

The former Manchester City striker hopes to head back to Germany at some stage, but has no plans to leave Serie A ahead of the 2017-18 season

Roma striker Edin Dzeko has expressed his desire to return to former club Wolfsburg, though he has no plans to leave the Serie A giants in this transfer window.

Dzeko netted 29 goals in Italy’s top flight last term, edging out Napoli forward Dries Mertens as the league’s top-scorer to help Roma secure a second-placed finish.

‘Totti planned to miss farewell penalty’

Ex-Manchester City man Dzeko scored 66 goals in 111 Bundesliga appearances for Wolfsburg before leaving in 2011, and the Bosnia-Herzegovina striker has claimed he would be delighted to return.

“I’m only 31 and feel better than ever,” Dzeko said at an event to celebrate Wolfsburg’s 20-year Bundesliga status, which the club only maintained with a relegation play-off victory over Eintracht Braunschweig.

£35m Salah worth the wait for Liverpool

“I have three years of my contract left in Rome and I feel good there. But I hope I’ll come back to Wolfsburg as a player again.

“And I owe Wolfsburg everything. Without them, I would not have had the chance to play for Manchester City or Roma.”

Manolas criticises ‘disrespectful’ Bosnia after post-match brawl

Friday’s goalless draw in Group H World Cup qualifying was overshadowed by the violent coming together of both teams in Zenica

Greece defender Kostas Manolas criticised Bosnia-Herzegovina after he and club team-mate Edin Dzeko were involved in an ugly spat during a post-match brawl.

Friday’s goalless draw in Group H World Cup qualifying was overshadowed by the violent coming together of both teams following the full-time whistle in Zenica.

Modric named Croatian POY

After a tense affair, which started with Bosnia fans booing the Greece national anthem, Dzeko confronted Roma team-mate Manolas and put his hand on his face as tempers boiled over at Bilino Polje Stadium.

There were punches thrown among other players and Manolas later condemned Bosnia’s behaviour.

“Some things should not be done,” Manolas told Cosmote TV.

“It was a shame that they have disrespected our national anthem. These things are not football.”

Bosnia are third in European qualifying, a point behind Greece, who are four points adrift of leaders Belgium after six rounds.

Who has scored the most goals in all competitions in 2016-17? Messi, Ronaldo and Europe’s top marksmen

Superstar frontmen from the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A posted some remarkable scoring numbers in the season just gone

The cream continues to rise to the top in Europe’s leading divisions, with the usual suspects once again filling their boots in front of goal to underline their value to their respective clubs and enhance their reputations as some of the finest players on the planet. Here, Goal takes a look at the leading frontmen from across the continent.


LIONEL MESSI


Lionel Messi Barcelona goals 16 17

The mercurial Argentine enjoyed another prolific campaign at Barcelona, moving past the 500-goal goal mark for the club – with the target found 507 times in 583 appearances.

Has now delivered eight successive seasons of 40+ goals, with his efforts in 2016-17 earning him the fourth Golden Shoe of a quite remarkable career.


EDINSON CAVANI


Edinson Cavani PSG goals 16 17

Stepped out of the shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Paris Saint-Germain to prove his worth as a central striker, helping PSG to Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue glory to compensate for surrendering their Ligue 1 title.

Fell just one effort short of matching Ibrahimovic’s club-record haul of 50 in the French capital.


ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI


Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich goals 16 17

Missed out on the Bundesliga top scorer award by one goal, but remains the most prolific marksman in Germany across all competitions, with the Pole a threat on the floor and in the air.

His 43-goal haul in 2016-17 – which included four hat-tricks – represents a personal best, while he has now plundered 30 in each of his last two German top-flight campaigns.


CRISTIANO RONALDO


Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid goals 16 17

Is only the second man, after eternal rival Messi, to have scored 25+ goals in eight successive La Liga seasons, having hit that mark on the final day to help wrap up a title triumph.

The 2016-17 campaign also saw the prolific Portuguese forward become the first man to reach 100 goals in Champions League competition – with a brace in the final helping Madrid to make history with back-to-back triumphs.


PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Dortmund goals 16 17

To have beaten Lewandowski to the Bundesliga top scorer award goes to show how prolific the Gabon international was over the course of the 2016-17 campaign.

He has come to epitomise the ‘fox in the box’ moniker, with all 72 of his Bundesliga efforts over the course of the last three seasons having come from inside the penalty area.


EDIN DZEKO


Edin Dzeko Roma goals 16 17

Collected the Capocannoniere in Serie A, having enjoyed a memorable return to prolific form to set a new personal best both in league outings and across all competitions.

Completes the set across Europe’s top five leagues of the top goalscorer having missed out on title glory – alongside Messi, Aubameyang, Cavani and Kane.


ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE


Alexandre Lacazette Lyon goals 16 17

Has scored 20+ league goals in three successive seasons at Lyon, while passing the 100-goal mark for the club while setting a new personal best in 2016-17.

Having been a talismanic presence for his Ligue 1 employers, the France international is now destined to take his predatory instincts elsewhere – with Manchester United and Liverpool among those reported to be keen.


LUIS SUAREZ


Luis Suarez Barcelona 16 17

Only Messi and Ronaldo have managed more goals in La Liga since the Uruguayan moved to Camp Nou in 2014, with 85 managed in just 97 appearances.

Is one of only eight players in Europe to have registered double figures in terms of assists and goals in the 2016-17 campaign.


HARRY KANE


Harry Kane Tottenham goals 16 17

The Tottenham talisman is only the fifth player to score 25+ goals in two successive Premier League seasons, following in the footsteps of Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie and Robbie Fowler.

His 29-goal haul in 2016-17 saw him make it back-to-back Golden Boot successes in the English top-flight.


DRIES MERTENS


Dries Mertens Napoli goals 16 17

Recorded 30+ goals for the first time in his career, and 20+ in a league campaign for the first time since his spell at PSV in 2011-12.

Saw off competition from Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Roma’s Radja Nainggolan to be named Belgian Footballer of the Year for 2016.


JUST OUTSIDE THE TOP 10


Sergio Aguero Manchester City

Sergio Aguero managed 33 in all competitions for Manchester City, despite seeing his future called into question at times – becoming only the fifth player to 20+ in three successive Premier League seasons after Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Harry Kane.

Gonzalo Higuain started to repay his €90 million transfer fee at Juventus with 32 goals, including five in a run to the Champions League final, while Alexis Sanchez hit 30 for the first time in his career to help Arsenal to FA Cup glory.

Radamel Falcao also hit that mark, with the Colombian enjoying a welcome return to form to spark a Ligue 1 title win at Monaco after two forgettable seasons on loan in England with Manchester United and Chelsea.


BEST OF THE REST


Kylian Mbappe AS Monaco Borussia Dortmund Champions League 19042017

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (28) saw his season cut short by injury, but not before becoming the first man to score 20+ goals for Manchester United since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, while Andre Belotti (28) came of age at Torino, netting a European-high 10 efforts in the league with his head.

Blackburn Rovers fans are unlikely to have fond memories of Anthony Modeste, but he has been prolific for Koln and plundered 27 efforts across all competitions in 2016-17 – including 25 of his side’s 51 in the Bundesliga.

Six men ended the campaign with 26 goals to their name, including Celta Vigo’s former Liverpool forward Iago Aspas and Lazio frontman Ciro Immobile.

Mauro Icardi also achieved the feat in another frustrating season for Inter, while Everton’s Romelu Lukaku joined Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Robbie Fowler in an elite group of players to have netted 80+ times in the Premier League before the age of 24.

Elsewhere, Antoine Griezmann caught the eye of the likes of Manchester United with another impressive haul at Atletico Madrid and Kylian Mbappe became the teenage sensation of the season at Monaco, becoming only the sixth player to score in his first four Champions League starts and drawing comparisons with Thierry Henry as he helped Monaco to the Ligue 1 title.

Roma striker Dzeko wins Serie A Capocannoniere

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international fended off Dries Mertens and Andrea Belotti to claim the prize after netting on 29 occasions

Edin Dzeko has ended the season as Serie A’s most prolific striker and equalled Roma’s club record of 29 goals scored in a single league campaign, set by Rodolfo Volk in 1930-31.

Totti matches Buffon’s Serie A record

A close-range effort 10 minutes into Sunday’s 3-2 win over Genoa ensured the 31-year-old striker became the first Bosnian player to win the Capocannoniere, fending off the challenge of Dries Mertens who scored in Napoli’s 4-2 win over Sampdoria to take his own total to 28.

Dzeko has scored eight goals in Roma’s last eight matches to make this term his most successful – the striker having scored 26 goals in the Bundesliga for Wolfsburg in 2008-09 – and his form has been vital to Roma’s second-place finish.

Belgium international Mertens last scored more than 20 league goals in a season when he netted 21 for PSV in 2011-12, and his haul for Napoli this campaign included a hat-trick in a 5-0 win at Cagliari followed by four goals in a 5-3 win over Torino seven days later.

goals in Serie A this season.

Congratulations @EdDzeko ! pic.twitter.com/NpyJBNeuty

— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 28, 2017

Torino’s Andrea Belotti ended the season as Serie A’s third highest scorer with 26 after adding to his tally in a 5-3 win over Sassuolo on Sunday, followed by Gonzalo Higuain of Juventus and Mauro Icardi of Inter, who both scored 24.

Ciro Immobile was the only other player to finish with more than 20 goals after he converted a penalty in a 3-1 loss at Crotone to finish up with 23 league strikes.

Chievo 3 Roma 5: Spalletti’s men hit five to bolster grip on second

Roma will go into the final game of the Serie A season in second place after beating Chievo 5-3 at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.

Stephan El Shaarawy and Mohamed Salah scored two goals each as Roma beat Chievo 5-3 to ensure they delayed Juventus being crowned champions and will go into the final Serie A game of the season in second place. 

Roma were one point clear of third-placed Napoli and four behind leaders Juve – who can wrap up the title on Sunday – going into the game, but Chievo took the lead against the run of play after 15 minutes when Roberto Inglese’s header fell to Lucas Castro inside the box and the Argentinian winger lashed the ball into the net from close range.

Roma were level after 28 minutes when El Shaarawy received the ball just outside the penalty area and turned the on-rushing Stefano Sorrentino before firing the ball into the net for his seventh league goal of the season.

Despite looking dangerous with every attack, Luciano Spalletti’s men left gaps at the back and Inglese was unmarked when he headed Valter Birsa’s cross into the net after 37 minutes to make it 2-1 to Chievo.

Salah missed the chance to equalise when Sorrentino saved his bullet header moments later, but the Egyptian made amends after 42 minutes when he received the ball on the right flank and cut inside his marker before sending a deflected shot into the net to leave the scores level at half-time.

Five goals
Three points #ChievoRoma #ASRoma pic.twitter.com/R973673l51

— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 20, 2017

The pick of the afternoon’s goals put Roma in front after 58 minutes, when Kevin Strootman showed great vision to split Chievo’s defence and put El Shaarawy clean through and he took a touch before firing in at the far post from an angle.

A delightful pass from Edin Dzeko put Salah through to score his second of the match after 76 minutes. And Dzeko sent a thunderbolt of a shot into the net seven minutes later to make it 5-2.

Inglese scored a late consolation for Chievo, but the attention in the final moments was on Roma substitute Francesco Totti, who played the last five minutes of what is likely to have been the penultimate game of his brilliant career.

Key Opta stats: 

– Stephan El Shaarawy has found the net in three Serie A games in a row for the first time since December 2012.
– Roma have scored 87 Serie A goals this season, equalling their record in the league from 1930-31 (87 goals in 34 matchdays).
– Lucas Castro has scored five league goals this season, more than in any other Serie A campaign.
– Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last nine Serie A appearances (6 goals, 5 assists). He has netted 15 goals in this Serie A, one more than in the last league.